'No amnesty' for convicted politicians

'No amnesty' for convicted politicians

The government on Wednesday denied reports claiming it was willing to grant an amnesty to all convicted politicians living in exile as part of a bid to forge national unity.

"[Any] report about such a political amnesty is groundless," government spokeswoman, Narumon Pinyosinwat, said when asked about it at Government House yesterday.

Ms Narumon insisted the government is busy helping people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. She said granting an amnesty to convicted politicians is not a government's priority.

According to the reports, the government was considering giving a clean slate to convicted politicians to create harmony and peace and counter the creation of would-be political movements after the revocation of the emergency decree.

Ms Narumon said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is also the defence minister, dismissed the reports, saying the government did not know how the claim started.

However, she said that only the Justice Ministry can handle such judicial procedures, including royal pardons.

She said it can do so without interference from other government agencies.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin yesterday said he had not heard about the reports.

"The ministry will call a meeting to discuss the issue if it is told to do so," Mr Somsak said.

"As of yet, I have not been informed about it."

"[An amnesty] might have been proposed by someone I do not know," he added.

A bill to give a full amnesty to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra drawn up by the Yingluck Shinawatra administration collapsed in 2013. It happened amid rising political tensions.

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