13 Dec 2012

Former Thai PM facing muder charge over protest

9:39 pm on 13 December 2012

Thailand's former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is to be charged with murder over the death of a taxi driver shot by soldiers during political violence.

Mr Abhisit has been asked to appear at the Department of Special Investigations to hear the charge.

He was prime minister when thousands of protesters took to the streets in 2010 demanding that his government step down, the BBC reports.

He gave orders allowing troops to use live ammunition on protesters, who had shut down parts of Bangkok.

More than 90 people, both civilians and soldiers, were killed in the protests, which went on for over two months.

Mr Abhisit and his deputy at the time, Suthep Thaugsuban, are the first officials to face charges in connection with the deaths.

The move was announced last week, after a court ruled in September that taxi driver Phan Kamkong had been killed by troops.

Now the leader of the opposition, Mr Abhisit has defended his order for live ammunition to be used, saying government forces had "very little option" but to act when live fire was used against them.