Former Prime Minister Thaksin To Be Indicted on Lese Majeste

Thailand’s attorney-general is set to indict former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on charges of lese majeste and computer crime stemming from his 2015 interview in South Korea, an official said on Wednesday.

According to Prayut Phetcharakhun, spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG), Attorney-General Amnat Chetcharoenrak decided on Monday to proceed with the indictment as recommended by the police.

The charges relate to Thaksin’s interview in Seoul on February 21, 2015. The computer crime charge is based on Thaksin allegedly inputting information into a computer system that posed a threat to national security, said Mr. Prayut.

However, on Wednesday, public prosecutors were unable to immediately bring Thaksin to court because his lawyer submitted a medical certificate indicating that Thaksin had Covid-19 and required rest until the following Monday.

Consequently, he requested to postpone the hearing of the indictment decision to June 15.

Mr. Prayut stated that public prosecutors have now ordered the paroled former prime minister to appear at the OAG at 9 am on June 18 for the indictment process.

On April 10, Mr. Amnat had postponed the decision to Wednesday, awaiting an additional interrogation report from the police.

Following Thaksin’s parole on February 18, police from the Technology Crime Suppression Division handled the lese majeste and computer crime charges and approved his temporary release.

Thaksin is accused of defaming the monarchy during a 2015 interview with South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper. In the interview, he alleged that privy councillors had supported the 2014 coup that deposed the government of his younger sister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Police claim that Thaksin’s comments during the interview violated Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, as well as the Computer Crime Act.