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    HomeWorld NewsFormer Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra Indicted on Royal Insult Charges

    Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra Indicted on Royal Insult Charges

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    Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra Indicted on Royal Insult Charges: Legal Battle Looms

    In a significant development, Thailand’s attorney-general has announced the indictment of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on charges of insulting the monarchy. The decision comes as a setback to the influential political figure, whose loyalists currently hold positions in the government.

    The charges against Thaksin stem from an interview he gave to foreign media in 2015, where he allegedly made remarks deemed offensive to the monarchy. Additionally, he faces accusations of violating Thailand’s strict lese-majeste law and the computer crime law.

    Thaksin, aged 74, has denied any wrongdoing and has reiterated his loyalty to the monarchy, acknowledging the sensitive nature of criticisms against it under Thai law. The lese-majeste law carries severe penalties, including a maximum jail term of 15 years for each perceived insult to the royal family.

    Despite being absent from Wednesday’s hearing due to a COVID-19 infection, Thaksin’s lawyer, Winyat Chartmontri, stated that a robust defense strategy has been prepared, and Thaksin will seek bail. The authenticity of the video containing the alleged insult has been questioned by Thaksin’s legal team.

    Thaksin Shinawatra, a central figure in Thai politics, founded the populist Pheu Thai party, which has seen multiple electoral victories since 2001. His return to Thailand in 2023 after years of exile was followed by a brief period of detention, which was commuted by the king.

    The timing of Thaksin’s indictment is noteworthy, occurring shortly after recent legal actions against opposition figures for alleged royal insults. The Move Forward Party, known for its advocacy to amend the lese-majeste law, faces potential dissolution by the Constitutional Court.

    Political analysts view Thaksin’s indictment as a possible warning to curtail his political activities, although it remains to be seen how this legal battle will unfold given his influence and support base.

    Sources By Agencies

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