Exiled academic Somsak may face more lèse majesté charges

The Thai police are considering a further lèse majesté charge against Somsak Jeamteerasakul, in self-imposed exile in France, and the Thai PBS channel over a talk programme on the lèse majesté law. 
The Tob Jod (The Answers) programmes were broadcast on Thai PBS, the only public TV channel in Thailand, on 11-14 March and 18 March 2013. Apart from Somsak, the episode on lèse majesté law featured Sulak Sivaraksa, an anti-lèse majesté law royalist, Surakiart Sathirathai, former Deputy Prime Minister, and Pol Gen Vasit Dejkunchorn. The show was hosted by Pinyo Trisuriyathamma. 
Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, Deputy Chief of Royal Thai Police, told Matichon on Thursday that if the police decide to press charges, not only those appearing on the show will be charged but also the executives of the channel at that time. He added that investigators will hold another meeting on the case in mid-March. 
A complaint against the programme for breaking Article 112, or the lèse majesté law, was filed long ago, but the complaint did not accuse anyone in particular, the police said. 
In 2011, the Royal Thai Army filed a complaint under Article 112 against Somsak for his open letter to Princess Chulabhorn Walailak, who is not protected under the law. The letter was a response to the Princess' interview in a popular talk show programme which touched on Thai political conflicts.  
Somsak Jeamteerasakul (file photo)