Thaksin indicted on charge of royal defamation as more court cases stir Thailand’s political woes by StuffsEarth

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Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. File
| Photo Credit: AP

Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was formally indicted on Tuesday on a charge of defaming Thailand’s monarchy in one of several court cases that have unsteadied Thai politics.

Mr. Thaksin, an influential political figure despite being ousted from power 18 years ago, reported himself to prosecutors just before 9 a.m. and the indictment process has been completed, Prayuth Bejraguna, a spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General, said at a press conference.

A car believed to be carrying Mr. Thaksin arrived at the criminal court in Bangkok but he did not come out to meet reporters, and it is unclear whether he went to the court or the nearby prosecutors’ office.

His lawyer Winyat Chatmontree told reporters that Mr. Thaksin was ready to enter the judicial process and that he has prepared a request for his release on bail.

The law on defaming the monarchy, an offense known as lese majeste, is punishable by three to 15 years in prison. It is among the harshest such laws globally and increasing has been used in Thailand to punish government critics.

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