Thanathorn arraigned in court for lese majeste

Thanathorn arraigned in court for lese majeste

Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit is seen at the Criminal Court on Monday. (Photo: Progressive Movement)
Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit is seen at the Criminal Court on Monday. (Photo: Progressive Movement)

The Criminal Court has accepted for trial a case filed by the prosecution against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, chairman of the Progressive Movement, charging him with committing lese majeste during his Facebook Live on Jan 18, 2021 criticising the government's Covid-19 vaccine procurement plan.

Krisdang Nutjaras, Mr Thanathorn's lawyer, said prosecutors on Monday decided to indict Mr Thanathorn in the Criminal Court for breach of Section 112,  the lese majeste law, of the Criminal Code and of the Computer Crimes Act, as recommended by Nang Loeng police investigators.

The Criminal Court accepted the case for trial, Mr Krisdang said.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Thanathorn said he believed the case was "politically motivated" and vowed to contest the charges.

"It is clear that I am one of the key opposition [figures] and I think the objective is to silence me, to make the public afraid. So if we can keep silent, keep our mouths shut, they win," he said.

The Progressive Movement later issued a statement to media saying Mr Thanathorn had been indicted for referring to His Majesty the King while talking about the government's procurement of vaccine against Covid-19 from Siam Bioscience Company, a Thai biopharmaceuticals manufacturer.

According to the indictment, Mr Thanathorn's remark publicised on the internet was intended to cause the public to look at the King with suspicion. After being indicted, Mr Thanathorn filed an application with the court for release on bail.

He was released on bail with a 90,000 baht surety.

Siam Bioscience is owned by His Majesty the King.

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