RIOTS VIDEO CLIP : Witness denies red shirt was shot by soldiers


Nation TV cameraman says man was hit with a baton but coincidentally a shot was fired by soldier at the same time

The video clip released by pro-Thaksin Shinawatra protesters on Monday, of a red-shirt protester being attacked, did not show the correct situation, said Nation TV cameraman Anucha Sakdaukosakul, who was also filming at the scene.

The red-shirt protester, later identified as Tienchai Sakultaharn, was the driver of Nonthaburi-based Supanyarnyon company’s bus No 64.

“He is still alive,” said a member of the bus company, who asked not to be named.

Anucha said as the man was being hit on the head with a baton, a soldier shot into the air to warn the other red shirts to stay away. Protesters, who witnessed the incident on April 13 in front of the First Army area, tried approaching the spot and started throwing bottles at the soldiers, Anucha recounted.

“The man was not shot and was later taken into the First Army compound. It is a coincidence that the man was hit at the same time as another soldier fired into the air,” Anucha said.

On Monday, red-shirt leaders released a video clip of what they claimed to be a close-range shooting of a protester. The one-minute clip, which is very unclear and shaky, shows a red-clad man being taken off a No 64 bus by soldiers. He is then shown collapsing as a gunshot is heard and is then seen being taken away to an undisclosed location by soldiers.

The clip also shows a TV cameraman at the scene, who was later identified as Anucha. The footage caught by Anucha clearly shows the man being hit by just a police baton.

The bus company officer said that Tienchai had never taken part in the red-shirt protest because he had never missed work. Apparently, he said, Tienchai had put on a red shirt to drive his bus away after it was seized by the anti-government protesters. However, he said, the company did not acknowledge any of these actions.

The Thai Association of Private Buses will be holding a press conference today, at which Tienchai and representatives of the bus company will also be present.

Meanwhile, Army spokesman Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the clip released by the anti-government protesters was misleading and reiterated that soldiers had not shot Tienchai.

He also quoted Tienchai as saying that his bus had been hijacked by protesters at the Rajaphat Suansunandra University and driven by them to the First Army area. Since Tienchai was afraid his bus would be set on fire, he put on a red shirt so he could drive the bus safely out of the area.

However, since the army was blocking all exits, he ended up driving in circles, which made soldiers believe that he was trying to run them over. That is why the soldiers captured Tienchai, Sansern said, adding that indeed there had been a bit of a clash, which is inevitable in a serious event.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai MP Jatuporn Prompan, who is also a core red-shirt leader and faces arrest, said he would be showing a previously undisclosed footage during the joint Parliamentary session, which began today.

“This clip will only be an appetiser of what is to come. Some corpses haven’t even been cremated and some MPs may bring these bodies to Parliament,” Jatuporn said.

By Thaweeporn Kummetha,
Panya Thiewsangwan

The Nation
Published on April 22, 2009

Click here to view VDO clip


Description : Red shirts claimed on Monday that a man being taken off hijacked bus No 64 was shot and killed in close-range by troops in broad daylight.

But a footage shot from another angle by a Nation TV cameraman showed that the man collapsed because he was hit on the head on by the second military police from the left.


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