Pheu Thai vents fury over 'plot' against ex-pm Thaksin

Pheu Thai vents fury over 'plot' against ex-pm Thaksin

>> The Pheu Thai Party is crying foul over the Office of the Attorney-General's (OAG) plan to revive pending criminal cases against ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The move would happen under a new organic law which allows criminal cases to apply retroactively.

Chusak Sirinil, chief of the party's legal affairs, said the law which allows for the trials of fugitive politicians to be held in absentia is unconstitutional and drawn up to single out some politicians for legal action.

He said the law also opposes the principle that people should be free from retroactive law, adding: "It is regrettable that the party's call for the Constitutional Court's ruling on the constitutionality of the law went unheard."

Mr Chusak said the Pheu Thai Party submitted a petition to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in July asking him to seek a Constitutional Court ruling on the bill before it was submitted for royal endorsement.

The legislation, which is among 10 organic laws the Constitution Drafting Committee needs to draw up to complement the new constitution, was passed by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) in July and took effect on Sept 29.

A critical issue of the law is that the statute of limitations has not expired while a fugitive suspect is on the run and that the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions can order a trial to proceed in absentia.

It can be retroactively applied to the cases before the law promulgation.

Mr Chusak said the party is aware of the motive behind the drafting of the bill and all it could do at this stage is to wait and see.

His comment came after Attorney-General Khemchai Chutiwongs vowed on Friday to revive pending criminal cases against Thaksin under the new law.

He also said his predecessor Pongniwat Yuthapanboriparn recommended an indictment against Thaksin for violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law.

The case followed media interviews Thaksin gave to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper in Seoul on May 20, 2015.

In the interview, he linked privy councillors to the May 22, 2014 military coup that ousted the Pheu Thai-led government.

Thaksin was ousted in an earlier coup in 2006.

The charge also raised other suspicions as, according to Section 112, the law only applies to cases involving the king, queen and other members of the royal family.

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