PM unsure if foreign observers were representing embassies

PM unsure if foreign observers were representing embassies

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has doubts whether foreign observers were representing embassies when they turned up to witness Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit reporting to Pathumwan police to hear charges on Saturday. (File photo)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has doubts whether foreign observers were representing embassies when they turned up to witness Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit reporting to Pathumwan police to hear charges on Saturday. (File photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has questioned whether the foreign observers present were actually representing embassies when Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit reported to police to hear charges against him on Saturday.

Gen Prayut, also chief of the junta's National Council for Peace and Order, said he had asked the Foreign Ministry to follow up the matter.

Observers from 12 countries were at Pathumwan police station to observe the process. The ministry would hold talks with ambassadors about Thanathorn case, the prime minister said. He did not know if they were representatives from embassies or not.

On Saturday, diplomats from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the US, as well as EU and UN human rights officials, went to Pathumwan police station as observers.

Mr Thanathorn was charged with sedition under Section 116 of the Criminal Code, helping a suspect escape under Section 189, and organising an assembly of more than 10 people that caused unrest (Section 215). If convicted, he could face respective jail terms of seven years, two years and six months on the three charges.

The FFP leader denied the charges and said he would provide written testimony on May 15.

The prime minister said he did not want to see any conflict, as all had to live in the same world. More importantly, authorities followed the constitution and Thai laws in handling old or new cases. The Military Court had existed for a long time and security-related cases that occurred in 2015 had to be tried in a military court, he added.

On Saturday, Thanathorn said after reporting to police that he was confident of his innocence but was worried that if the cases did proceed he would be tried in a military court. 

A notated photo published on the Facebook page of "Is Am Are - Academy by Neal" on Monday clearly identifies seven representatives of foreign embassies alongside Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit. (Embed from Facebook/Is Am Are - Academy by Neal)


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