Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra charged with royal insult
Thai police have charged former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra with lèse-majesté over comments he made almost a decade ago, officials said on Tuesday, though it is not clear if the case will go to court.
The constitution states the king must be held in a position of “revered worship”.
Controversial billionaire Thaksin, twice prime minister but ousted in a 2006 coup, returned from self-exile in August last year and was immediately jailed on old corruption and abuse-of-power charges.
The 74-year-old was transferred to a police hospital almost straight away and has undergone at least two operations.
Prayuth, told reporters the delay in acting on the royal insults complaint was because Thaksin had been abroad.
Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra jailed for 8 years upon return from exile
Prosecutors will wait for police to complete their investigation before deciding whether to proceed with the case against Thaksin, Prayuth said.
Thaksin denies the charge and has written to the attorney general asking for fair treatment, Prayuth said. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Thaksin’s allies have denied speculation of a back room political deal between the former leader and his powerful enemies.
The announcement of a possible new case against Thaksin comes a week after Move Forward, the largest party in parliament, was forced by a court to abandon its controversial plan to amend the lèse-majesté law.
Move Forward was hit days after by a succession of complaints seeking its dissolution and life bans for dozens of lawmakers over its stance on the law protecting the crown.
Loved by millions of rural Thais for his populist policies in the early 2000s, Thaksin is reviled by the country’s royalist and