Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin accused of insulting the King News

The jailed former leader is the latest to face trial under Thailand’s strict laws that protect the monarchy from criticism.

Thai police have accused former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of insulting the monarchy due to statements he made about ten years ago.

Officials said on Tuesday that the complaint relates to an interview Thaksin conducted in 2015 while he was in South Korea. The potential charge comes just weeks before he is set to be released on parole. Although it is not yet clear whether the case will go ahead or not, the jailed billionaire is the first accused. The latest political figure to face trial Under the country’s strict lese majeste laws.

The complaint was filed by the military government that ran Thailand after the overthrow of the government led by Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, in May 2014. Thaksin has repeatedly pledged loyalty to the monarchy.

Prayuth Pecharakon, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, told reporters that the long delay in dealing with the complaint was due to Thaksin’s previous absence from the country.

Behind the scenes deal

The controversial billionaire, who served as prime minister twice but was ousted in a 2006 coup, He returned from self-imposed exile in August last year. He was immediately imprisoned on charges of corruption and abuse of power.

The 74-year-old was taken to a police hospital almost immediately and underwent at least two surgeries.

Prayut said that the prosecution would wait for the police to complete their investigations before deciding whether to continue the case or not.

He added that Thaksin denies the charge and has written to the public prosecutor requesting fair treatment.

Insulting the crown is a serious crime in Thailand, where the constitution stipulates that the king must be in a position of “sacred worship.”

The lese majeste law is one of the strictest laws of its kind in the world, punishing 15 years in prison for each insult to the monarchy. Critics of the law say it has been used as a weapon to silence dissent.

he was there leap At least 260 people have been charged under the laws – known in Thailand as “112” after the relevant section of the Criminal Code – since youth-led pro-democracy street protests in 2020. They were tried under it in recent years.

Thaksin’s return to Thailand coincided with the return of his Pheu Thai party to power in a controversial deal with pro-military parties.

The timing sparked rumors of a behind-the-scenes deal to help Thaksin with his legal problems. This speculation increased when the king reduced the prison sentence from eight years to one year.

Loved by Millions from the Thai countryside Because of his populist policies in the early 2000s, Thaksin became hated by the country’s royalist and pro-military establishment, which has spent much of the past two decades trying to keep him and his allies out of power.

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