Thaksin's lese majeste case postponed

Thaksin's lese majeste case postponed

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, centre, arrives at the Office of the Attorney-General in a wheelchair on Monday morning. (Photo supplied)
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, centre, arrives at the Office of the Attorney-General in a wheelchair on Monday morning. (Photo supplied)

Attorney-General Amnat Chetcharoenrak on Monday morning ordered additional investigation in the lese majeste case against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, released him temporarily and set the next appointment for April 10.

Spokesman Prayut Phetcharakhun said that after Thaksin was paroled on Sunday, police from the Technology Crime Suppression Division received him for the lese majeste case and then approved his temporary release.

At 8.30am on Monday, police escorted Thaksin to the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) where Mr Amnat considered Thaksin's recent petition for fair treatment in the case. Mr Amnat decided there should be additional interrogation, as Thaksin requested, Mr Prayut said.

The OAG on Monday approved the temporary release of Thaksin. He was ordered to return at 9am on April 10 to hear the attorney-general's decision in the case, the OAG spokesman said.

Thaksin was seen arriving at the OAG in a wheelchair and wearing a face mask and neck brace. 

Earlier Mr Prayut said Thaksin is alleged to have defamed the monarchy in comments made in Seoul, South Korea, on May 21, 2015.

On Sept 19, 2016, then attorney-general Pongniwat Yuthapanboripan decided to indict Thaksin. At the time, Thaksin was a fugitive and the former attorney-general told police to seek an arrest warrant from the Criminal Court. The court issued the warrant.

On Jan 17 this year, public prosecutors and police informed Thaksin of the lese majeste charge and a related computer crime charge. Thaksin denied the charges and filed a written petition for fair treatment.

In May 2015, Thaksin gave an interview to Chosun Ilbo in Seoul and claimed privy councillors supported the May 22, 2014, coup that ousted the government of his younger sister Ying­luck Shinawatra.

A video clip of the interview was viewed widely on Thai social media.

Police believe comments made during the interview could have violated the lese majeste law and the computer crime law. Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, provides for punishment of 3-15 years in prison for each offence.

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