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Thailand’s Attorney General Determined to Extradite Lese Majeste Suspect from New Zealand



Chiang Rai Times

Ekapob “Tang Achiwa” Luara



BANGKOK -Thailand’s Attorney-Generals Office says it has been coordinating with New Zealand to have lese majeste suspect Ekapob “Tang Achiwa” Luara extradited to face justice back home.

The move comes after the attorney-general decided to have the suspect face trial and police learned that the fugitive was living in New Zealand.

Wanchai Roujanawong, spokesperson for the attorney-general, said the request had been made under a 2008 extradition agreement.

An arrest warrant was issued for the 24-year-old after police discovered a video clip showing him attacking the monarchy in a speech that he delivered on November 27, 2013, as part of a red-shirt rally at Rajamangala Stadium in Hua Mark, Bangkok.

At the end of last year, Ekaphob posted a photograph on social media of himself and his girlfriend holding up a New Zealand passport and claiming that he has been given New Zealand citizenship.

Meanwhile, Former Grand Chamberlain of the Royal Household Bureau Montri Sotangkur has been charged with les majeste and malfeasance for using his position in the Royal Household to gain favours, bribes and positions from various government bodies.

The 53-year-old who worked for former princess Srirasmi could face the death penalty for the first charge and up to 15 years in prison for the second, a national police headquarters spokesperson said.

In Bangkok the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand has expressed regret for cancelling a discussion on Article 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, following a National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) verbal order not to host it.

According to the club, the forum was scheduled for tomorrow but it has been cancelled to comply with the NCPO’s order, which was passed on via the police.

“The FCCT has now been told that if the event goes ahead, the military will come and seal off access to the Maneeya Centre, where the club is located.

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