Ex-Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat (Source: Getty Images)
 
Bangkok (VNA) - Two former Thai Prime Ministers were cleared from abuse of power on August 2 in a case involving the quelling of an anti-government protest in 2008.

The court in Bangkok acquitted Somchai Wongsawat, his then-deputy Chavalit Yongchaiyudh and two former police officials.

The defendants had been accused of authorising police to use force against protesters who had blockaded the National Assembly building. A pitched battle erupted, injuring several hundred people and causing two deaths.

After the military seized power in 2014, authorities put the four men on trial.

In its ruling on August 2, the court dismissed the case, arguing that the protesters surrounded and threatened to storm the building, therefore it was not a peaceful rally. The authorities had to use force in order to clear the way.

Somchai, former PM Thaksin’s brother-in-law, was prime minister from September 9, 2008 to December 2, 2008 while Chavalit served as prime minister from December 1, 1996 to November 9, 1997. -VNA