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Former PM Thaksin to be prosecuted for lèse-majesté, computer crimes

Former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra

Thaksin Shinawatra is to be indicted on lèse-majesté and computer crimes charges.

Nation Thailand reports that the former PM, who is currently on parole, has won a temporary reprieve due to the hearing being postponed from June 18 to June 25 as a result of him contracting Covid-19.

The lèse-majesté law, otherwise known as section 112 of the Criminal Code, pertains to insulting, criticising, or otherwise defaming the King or any members of the monarchy. The Computer Crimes Act prohibits the sharing of false information online.

Yesterday, the Office of the Attorney General confirmed that Thaksin will be indicted on both charges. Prayut Phetkhun, a spokesman for the OAG, says Attorney General Amnart Jetcharoenrak issued Thaksin’s indictment order on Monday, May 27.

“Currently, Thaksin is a suspect, which will change to a defendant once the court accepts the case.”

The former PM is being charged in relation to an interview given to Time magazine in South Korea in November 2009.

In 2015, the Royal Thai Army filed a police complaint in relation to the interview and the following year, the AOG decided there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Thaksin. An arrest warrant was subsequently issued, although Thaksin was living in self-imposed exile by then.

According to the report, the statute of limitations for the offences is 15 years, from 2015. Following his return from exile last year, Thaksin had requested he be treated fairly in the case.

Upon his return to the kingdom, he was jailed for 8 years for abuse of power while in office, but transferred to hospital on his first night in custody, on the grounds of ill-health. His sentence was then reduced to 1 year under a royal pardon and he was released on parole after 6 months, none of which was spent in an actual prison.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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