Press "Enter" to skip to content

Thaksin Shinawatra’s Legal Battle: Defending Against Royal Defamation Charges on June 18

Order Cannabis Online Order Cannabis Online

Supporters of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra waited with bated breath outside the Pheu Thai Party’s headquarters in bustling Bangkok on a sunny day in March. They stood there, hopeful and determined, amid a sea of red shirts and waving flags, driven by the unwavering loyalty they hold for the man who once led the nation.

Thaksin, the ever-controversial figure in Thai politics, declared this past Saturday that he was ready to confront the storm of charges against him. These weren’t just any charges but the grave accusations of insulting the monarchy, a charge under Section 112 of the Criminal Code that can shatter lives with a maximum 15-year prison sentence for every alleged defamation against the royal family. Nevertheless, Thaksin remained steadfast. “It’s nothing. The case is baseless,” he asserted with an unflappable air of confidence, ready to meet the prosecutors on June 18.

The wheels of justice spun into action on May 29 when the attorney general indicted Thaksin for royal defamation and slapped him with computer crime charges. The origin? An interview with a Korean newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, dating back to February 21, 2015. Allegedly, Thaksin had placed information into a computer system that was flagged as a threat to national security—a serious claim indeed.

Interestingly, life’s unpredictable twists played a part in the delay of this legal drama. Thaksin was supposed to face the music on May 29, but a bout with Covid-19 resulted in his lawyer requesting a postponement. Now recovered, the stage is set for him to appear.

The crux of the controversy stems from Thaksin’s remarks during the interview, where he reportedly said that privy councillors backed the 2014 coup, a political tsunami that swept his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, out of the prime minister’s office. These words sharply contrast with his consistent pledges of loyalty to the crown, a dichotomy that only thickens the plot.

Thaksin’s case isn’t just a legal battle; it’s an emblem of the over 270 prosecutions under this stringent law in the past four years alone. Yet, it stands out due to Thaksin’s towering political stature and complex history with the nation’s judiciary.

The initial complaint was made by Gen Udomdej Sitabutr in 2015, then a key figure in the military government led by Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha. Udomdej didn’t pull any punches, instructing the Judge Advocate General’s Department to bring Thaksin to justice. The wheels were set in motion by the Office of the Attorney General, and by 2015, the Criminal Court had taken up the case and issued an arrest warrant. Thaksin, however, was snug under the international radar and remained out of reach until his dramatic return to Thailand in August last year.

Upon his return, Thaksin faced an eight-year prison sentence for abuse of authority and conflict of interest during his 2001-2006 tenure. Yet, in a soap-opera twist that only Thai politics can deliver, his sentence was slashed to a mere year thanks to a royal pardon. Even so, Thaksin didn’t spend a single night behind bars. Instead, he was granted parole after six months in the Police General Hospital, adding another chapter to his saga of polarizing escapades and loyalists’ admiration.

This tale of legal battles, political power plays, and unwavering loyalty has captivated not just Thailand but observers worldwide. Will Thaksin prove his case as baseless, or is a deeper political quagmire about to unfold? As June 18 looms closer, all eyes fixate on Thaksin, who remains ever the political maestro, ready to perform on the next act of his enduring saga.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from ThailandMore posts in Thailand »