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Ex-PM Somchai and the other co-defendants arrive at Supreme Court

Former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat and his three co-defendants arrived this morning at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices to hear the court's verdict regarding his government's crackdown of yellow-shirted protesters at the parliament nine years ago.

The other co-defendants are former deputy prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, former national police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan and former metropolitan police chief Suchart Muenkaew.

Security at and around the court is tight with one company of police plus a platoon of female police being deployed to maintain peace and order. About 200 supporters of the defendants showed up in front of the court to give moral support to the defendants and the number is expected to increase later.

About 100 supporters of the yellow-shirted movement, the People's Alliance for Democracy, were also reported to have turned up to hear the verdict.

The four defendants were charged with abuse of power in ordering the violent crackdown of yellow-shirted protesters at the parliament on October 7, 2008 which led to two protesters being killed and over 400 injured.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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