‘Thaksin won’t flee again,’ says PM

Thaksin Shinawatra is surrounded by supporters as he enters Pheu Thai Party headquarters in Bangkok on March 25. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Thaksin Shinawatra is surrounded by supporters as he enters Pheu Thai Party headquarters in Bangkok on March 25. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will not attempt to flee the country again in order to escape a lese-majeste case that has been brought against him, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Tuesday.

“I met with Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the leader of the Pheu Thai Party, this morning. I asked about her father. She said he is fine,” Mr Srettha said.

“I am confident he will not leave the country. I think he is ready to fight [the lese majeste case]. He was in exile abroad for 17 years. That’s long enough.

“I cannot speak on his behalf. But I don’t think he is going anywhere.”

Thaksin fled Thailand in 2008, shortly before the Supreme Court convicted him for helping his then-wife Khunying Potjaman Na Pombejra buy land in the Ratchadaphisek area at a discount while he was prime minister.

He returned to Thailand in August last year and was sentenced to eight years in prison — later reduced to one year on a royal pardon. He never spent a single night behind bars and was granted parole after spending six months at the Police General Hospital.

On May 29, the attorney general indicted Thaksin on royal defamation and computer crime charges arising from an interview given to a newspaper in Seoul on Feb 21, 2015.

Thaksin was alleged to have defamed the monarchy while speaking with a Korean newspaper, when he claimed privy councillors supported the 2014 coup that ousted the government of his younger sister, Yingluck Shinawatra.

Police claimed the comments violated Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese-majeste law, as well as the Computer Crime Act.


  • behalf (noun): on someone's behalf; as a representative of - ในนามของ ในฐานะของ
  • convicted: having been proven guilty of a crime by a court of law - ต้องโทษ, ได้รับการพิสูจน์ว่าข้อกล่าวหามีความผิดจริง
  • defamation: the offence of writing or saying something bad about someone that is not true and makes people have a bad opinion of them - การใส่ร้าย
  • exile: a situation in which you live in a foreign country because you feel you cannot live in your own country, usually for political reasons - การลี้ภัย การถูกขับออกนอกประเทศ
  • flee (past form: fled) (verb): to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger or consequences - หนี
  • indicted (verb): officially accused someone of a serious crime - ถูกฟ้องร้อง
  • lese majeste: the crime of offending, threatening or showing disrespect for a member of the royal family - หมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ
  • ousted: forced out of a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ
  • pardon: an official decision to forgive someone for committing a crime and to free them from full or further punishment or to have their punishment reduced - การอภัยโทษ
  • parole (noun): permission that is given to a prisoner to leave prison before the end of their sentence on condition that they behave well - การพ้นโทษอย่างมีเงื่อนไขหรือทำทัณฑ์บนไว้
  • privy councillor: a member of the group of appointed advisors to the King of Thailand - องคมนตรี
  • sentence : (of a court of law) to give a punishment - ลงโทษ

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