Criminal court to decide on Thaksin lèse majesté charge

The Criminal Court will rule whether to accept a lese majeste case file against Thaksin Shinawatra, a controversial ex-Prime Minister, in September.

According to Matichon Online, Bangkok’s Ratchada Criminal Court will decide whether to accept the case file under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, aka. lese majeste law, against Thaksin Shinnawatra, an ex-PM who was ousted out of office by the 2006 coup d’état, on 7 September 2015.

Last week, Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, the Thai army chief and Deputy Defence Minister, ordered Maj Gen Sarayuth Klinmahom, Director of Judge Advocate General’s Office of the Royal Thai Army, to press lèse majesté charges, including, charges under Articles 326 and 328 against Thaksin for defaming the monarchy in an interview.

The Thai authorities accused Thaksin of breaching Thailand’s lese majeste law when he spoke at the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul, South Korea, last week and gave an interview to Chosun Ilbo Media, the South Korean media group which organised the conference.

The Royal Thai Police alleged that parts of the interview harmed national security and dignity, but did not give further details of the allegation, reported the Bangkok Post.

In the interview, Thaksin made ambiguous statements about certain groups of people being behind the 2014 coup d’état.

According to Article 112, persons who defame, insult, or threaten the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent shall face 3-15 years imprisonment, while Articles 326 and 328 of the Criminal Crime Code carry fines of no more than 20,000 baht (about 600 USD) and up to two years imprisonment for people convicted of criminal defamation.

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