BANGKOK, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Criminal Court on Thursday acquitted five ex-Red Shirt members of murder attempt charges with an M79 grenade attack on anti-government protesters over five years ago.
The five former members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, better known as Red Shirt movement, had been arrested on charges of possessing war weapons and firing M79 grenades on protesters led by the People's Democratic Reform Committee in Chaeng Wattana road area on Bangkok's northern outskirts in March 2014.
During court trials, two of the five defendants claimed to have been physically tormented and forced to confess to the charges while being detained at an undisclosed army barracks.
The three others had categorically dismissed alleged involvement in the M79 attack on those who joined the mass protest against the Yingluck Shinawatra government.
The Criminal Court ruled that accusing witnesses had failed to substantiate the murder attempt and war weapon possession charges with verifiable evidence, thus lifting the case against the ex-Red Shirt members.
The freed defendants were identified as Narongsak Phlai-aram, Chatchawan Prabbamroong, Thaweechai Wichakham, Somsri Marit and Thanin Sinthusonthichart.