In Thailand, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra accused of lese majeste

Thai police have charged former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra under the controversial lese majeste law over comments he made in 2015, but no decision has been made on what action to take on the charge, a announced on Tuesday February 6, a representative of the justice system

In Thailand, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra accused of lese majeste

Thai police have charged former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra under the controversial lese majeste law over comments he made in 2015, but no decision has been made on what action to take on the charge, a announced on Tuesday February 6, a representative of the justice system.

A central figure in Thai politics, Thaksin Shinawatra “denies” the accusation and has asked in writing for fair treatment, Prayuth Pecharakun, spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office, told reporters.

The investigation concerns alleged defamatory remarks against the king and his family, expressed in 2015 from the South Korean capital Seoul, he said. It is up to the prosecutor to decide whether to hold a trial or not, upon reading the police conclusions, recalled the justice representative.

A return to Thailand last August

In power between 2001 and 2006, until the coup d'état by the army which hated him, Thaksin Shinawatra returned to Thailand in August, after a self-imposed exile of fifteen years to escape convictions for corruption and abuse of power. power.

The 74-year-old billionaire in fragile health, requiring constant medical monitoring according to his family, benefited from a partial amnesty from the king, which reduced his period of incarceration from eight to one year.

After spending a few hours in prison upon his return to Bangkok, he was detained in a police hospital, where he underwent at least two surgeries. He is eligible for parole in the coming weeks.

From abroad, Thaksin Shinawatra continued to exert influence on Thai political life, through his family and his party, now called Pheu Thai, which regained power in August. “The matter is in the hands of the Ministry of Justice (…) We must wait for the decision of the Attorney General,” reacted the Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, close to the Shinawatra clan.

Thailand's lese majeste law, considered one of the harshest in the world for this type of crime, exposes defendants to prison sentences ranging from three to 15 years. It can apply to actions committed outside the kingdom. This text has been misused to stifle any protest voice for political purposes, human rights groups have denounced in recent years.