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Three dead in Thai court shooting as ex-policeman fires on accusers

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By Reuters

BANGKOK (Reuters) – An ex-policeman killed two people in a Thai court before being shot dead by police after he opened fire on two plaintiffs, and their lawyers, who had accused him of laying false charges and giving false testimony, police said on Tuesday.

The shootings occurred at a court in Chanthaburi province, east of Bangkok. The victims included one of the plaintiffs and one lawyer, a spokesman for the Court of Justice said in a statement.

The former police officer, identified as Tharin Chantharathip, and his accusers had been locked in several disputes for years, including a civil suit related to land and other criminal cases, said Suriya Hongwilai, the spokesman.

“When the judge left the courtroom, the defendant did the unexpected,” Suriya said.

In October, a judge in a southern Thailand shot himself in court after delivering a not guilty verdict in the case of five Muslim suspects charged with murder.

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)