11 July 2024

Thailand’s Supreme Court has upheld three Appeals Court verdicts holding three red-shirt leaders accountable for the torching of commercial buildings, including the Centre One shopping mall and Dok Ya building, by red-shirt followers protesting against the government of then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on May 19th, 2010 in the vicinity of Victory Monument in Bangkok. The court, however, reduced the amount of compensation they must pay from about 30 million to 21 million baht.

Many other commercial buildings in Bangkok, including Central World shopping mall at Ratchaprasong intersection, were also allegedly torched by protesters on the same day.

Ten individuals and legal entities were sued by the victims for compensation in the civil court.  They included Abhisit, former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban, former defence minister Prawit Wongsuwan, former interior minister Chavarat Charnvirakul, the Defence Ministry, Bangkok Insurance Company, United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) chairman Jatuporn Promphan, UDD secretary-general Natthawut Saikua and Dr. Weng Tochirakarn, a key member of the movement.

The Civil Court acquitted all the ten defendants, but the Appeals Court ordered Jatuporn, Natthawut and Weng to pay compensation to all the victims whose properties were destroyed by fires started by the protesters.  The other defendants were acquitted.

The Supreme Court upheld the Appeals Court’s verdicts by ordering the trio to pay 21 million baht in compensation to the victims within 24 months.