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Friday, July 19, 2024

Thailand: Thaksin asks attorney-general to review lèse majesté charge

In yet another attempt to avoid indictment on a lèse majesté charge, lawyers for paroled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra lodged a petition last week with the incumbent attorney-general, seeking a review of his decision to charge Thaksin.

Thaksin is scheduled to appear before the Criminal Court on June 18, to be formally indicted on the lèse majesté charge, after he failed to show up to acknowledge the charge on May 29, claiming that he was sick with a COVID-19 infection.

Attorney-General Amnat Chetcharoenrak decided to charge Thaksin with lèse majesté and a violation of Computer Crime Act over an interview he gave to a South Korean media outlet in 2015, during which is deemed to have insulted the monarchy.

In the petition, Thaksin claims that the investigation committee, chaired by former Attorney-General Trakul Winitchaipark, was not independent and was coerced by the military junta to frame him.

Last Saturday, during a visit to Pathum Thani, to attend the ordination ceremony for the son of the mayor of the Tambon Administrative Organisation of Thanyaburi, the former prime minister told the media that he had been unfairly charged with lèse majesté by investigating officers who were not independent.  

He also described the charge as the “fruit of a toxic tree”.

In his Facebook post today, former Attorney-General Trakul dismissed Thaksin’s claim, saying “I would like to confirm, with the honour of a man, that, in my capacity then as the attorney-general, who was tasked with the responsibility to investigate cases which took place outside the kingdom, in accordance with Section 20 of the Criminal Procedural Code, no one ever coerced or persuaded me to perform my duty wrongfully.”

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