Thai politics Thailand

Fabio Polenghi Inquest Begins

The AP reported yesterday:

An inquest began Monday into the death of an Italian photographer killed two years ago as troops quashed a protest by anti-government “Red Shirts” who had occupied a central Bangkok intersection for several weeks.

The sister of slain photojournalist Fabio Polenghi was one of two witnesses to testify in the effort to see who was responsible for the killing on May 19, 2010. Elisabetta Polenghi has visited Thailand several times since her brother’s death to try to secure justice.

Polenghi was shot as he tried to take pictures of the army’s assault on the encampment of Red Shirts, who wanted then-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to step down. At least 91 people were killed during two months of political violence that swept through the Thai capital. They included two journalists, Polenghi and Reuters cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto.


Several investigations, including some by police, determined that many victims were probably killed by soldiers, but no definitive legal findings have been made. Separate public and private investigations into the deaths of the journalists found that evidence suggested they were killed by government forces, but they were not conclusive.

Meanwhile, AFP has a story saying a police official told the inquest he thinks Polenghi was hit by gunfire from the army:

Government troops are believed to have shot an Italian photographer who was killed during mass opposition street protests in 2010 in Bangkok, police told an official inquest in Thailand on Monday.

Police Colonel Suebsak Pansura, who is heading a team investigating the case, said they had questioned 47 witnesses and experts over the death of Fabio Polenghi and gathered evidence to submit to prosecutors.

“The conclusion found that the cause of his death was believed to have been a gunshot from the authorities on duty,” he told Bangkok’s Criminal Court on the opening day of the inquest.

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