A Thai court has dismissed a murder case against former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy, who were indicted for their role in ordering a deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters in 2010.

The judges ruled Thursday the Criminal Court has no authority to handle the case because the two accused were holders of political office at the time they gave the order.

The ruling comes three months after Thailand's army chief overthrew the country's elected government in a bloodless coup.

Abhisit had opposed the ousted government along with his No. 2, Suthep Thaugsuban, who had served as deputy prime minister.

Dozens of people were killed in the 2010 crackdown, during which demonstrators who occupied downtown Bangkok for nine weeks were violently dispersed.