The leader of street protests which preceded Thailand's latest coup appeared in court on July 28 on a murder charge over a crackdown on opposition "Red Shirt" supporters four years ago.

As deputy prime minister of the then Democrat Party government, Suthep was accused of ordering a firing into Red Shirt supporter, leaving 98 people dead and hundreds of others wounded in the heart of Bangkok in 2010.

However, Suthep denied the charge at the court.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Prime Minister at the time of the crackdown, also appeared alongside his former deputy in court. He has also denied a murder charge against him.

The judge ordered the pair to return on August 28 for the next hearing in their joint trial.

Suthep marshalled seven months of protests against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, paving the way for the May 22 coup.

The army said it was forced to grab power to avert widespread violence after gun and grenade attacks linked to the protests left nearly 30 people dead.-VNA