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Thaksin Shinawatra May Face Lese Majeste Charges after Slamming Privy Council



Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, right, receives a medal from Cambodia's Prime Minister

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, right, receives a medal from Cambodia’s Prime Minister


BANGKOK – A day after the Foreign Ministry revoked Former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra‘s passports, the Royal Thai Police released a statement saying Police believed one of his media interviews recently violated the lese majeste law, as well as other criminal and computer-crime laws.

Thaksin Shinawatra told Choson Media in Seoul that he believed privy counselors worked behind the scenes in supporting the protests that culminated with the ousting of his sister Yingluck’s government by the military.

He referred to the military coup on May 22 last year which ousted the Pheu Thai Party-led government. Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the army chief and coup leader at the time, then made himself prime minister.

The Bangkok Post reports that Security officials had asked the ministry to take action now that the Royal Thai Police Office had found the content of his interview undermined “national security and dignity”.

“Police are investigating and preparing to take criminal action against him under Sections 112, 326 and 328 of the Criminal Code and Section 14 (3) (5) of the Computer Crime Act,” it said.

As a result, the ministry revoked both Thaksin’s Thai passports — No. U957441 and Z530117 — effective May 26, 2015.

Section 112 provides: “Whoever, defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of 3-15 years”.

Sections 326 and 328 involve defamation, with imprisonment not exceeding two years and a fine not exceeding 20,000 baht.

Section 14 of the Computer Crime Act involves importing and disseminating computer data involving such offences. The penalty is imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine of not more than 100,000 baht, or both.

The statement does not say which of his interviews police found offensive but the former prime minister told Choson Media in Seoul last Wednesday some groups were behind the May 22, 2014 coup.

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