Former PM Thaksin Warns Coup-Makers Could Still Face Death Penalty

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has warned the nation’s coup-makers that they could still face punishment as harsh as the death penalty.

During a session in the Clubhouse on Tuesday night, Mr. Thaksin said he believed that one day “we will have our own constitution.” He also pointed out that the government is using retrospective law against him even though retrospective punishment is not feasible according to the principle of law.

“I would like to warn you about a sword that will return where all coup plotters will eventually face the death penalty,” Mr. Thaksin added.

The 72-year-old former leader also spoke about Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, describing him as a “dictator” who is “increasingly disconnected from reality.”

He also criticized Gen Prayut’s reaction to the Bangkok governor election results. The prime minister shrugged when independent candidate Chadchart Sittipunt’s victory was announced.

Gen Prayut also showed indifference to Pheu Thai’s success, seen as a threat to his leadership, after the party won 19 out of the 50 seats on the Bangkok council. The ruling Palang Pracharath party won only two seats in the election.

Mr. Thaksin said that “the tremor” would be felt throughout the country even though the other provinces are not like the capital.

“Saying that the results of the election do not reflect anything is like running away from reality…and the more a dictator a person becomes, the more he will turn his back on reality,” he added.

The former prime minister is wanted by Thai authorities on several charges linked to the 2006 coup, including corruption and royal insults. In 2008, he was forced to flee the country after being sentenced to two years in prison for his alleged role in a corrupt land deal that benefited his wife.

He was then sentenced to two years in prison for mishandling a 2003 state lottery scheme and later received a three-year jail term in a separate case for malfeasance in office after reportedly approving Export-Import Bank’s controversial 4-billion-baht loan to Myanmar.

Mr. Thaksin also faced up to five years in prison for owning illegal shares in the state’s telephone dealerships.