Thailand's Thaksin Indicted For Insulting Monarchy

Thailand's Thaksin indicted for insulting monarchy

Bangkok, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Jun, 2024) Thai prosecutors on Tuesday formally indicted influential former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra under the kingdom's strict royal insult laws over comments he made nearly a decade ago.

The case against the 74-year-old billionaire, twice elected premier and ousted in a 2006 military putsch, is one of four before the courts that could unleash fresh political instability in the coup-prone kingdom.

Thaksin, the patriarch of the Pheu Thai party that leads the coalition government, appeared at Bangkok's Ratchada Criminal Court accused of lese-majeste over an interview he gave to South Korean media in 2015.

"Today a state prosecutor indicted Thaksin Shinawatra and the court accepted the case," the attorney general's office said in a statement.

Thailand has some of the world's strictest royal defamation laws protecting King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his close family, with each charge bringing a potential 15-year prison sentence.

Thaksin was also charged under the Computer Crimes Act, which can carry a jail sentence of up to five years.

His lawyer Winyat Chatmontree said Thaksin denied all charges and had "no intention of speaking about anyone protected by article 112" -- a reference to the section of the criminal code dealing with lese-majeste.

The former Manchester City owner was granted bail on a 500,000 Baht ($13,500) bond and ordered not to leave the country without permission, court officials said.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for August 19.