Royal Pardon among the defences to be raised in Thaksin's lese majeste case

MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2024

Former prime minister’s legal team reveal 4 key points that will be argued before the the court in his defence

The legal team of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has announced 4 key points in his defence against the accusation of lese majeste. The case against Thaksin has been brought by the Attorney General (AG) under Article 112 of the Penal Code for giving an interview to a South Korean media outlet in 2015, which was seen as criticising the monarchy. The former PM is due to appear in court on June 18.

Thaksin’s legal team earlier filed a petition for justice, opposing the prosecution order and arguing that the investigators who handled the case were pressured and intimidated by those in power during the NCPO era. The case was filed shortly after the NCPO seized power on May 22, 2014, causing investigators to lack independence. Thus, the process of obtaining evidence was legally improper and biased according to the wishes of those in power.

The four points which will be presented in his defence cover:

No intent to flee and ready to fight the case
The term “Palace Circle” does not constitute an offence under Article 112.
The investigation during the NCPO Era was interfered with, and investigators lacked independence, as stated in the petition for justice. He received a Royal Pardon, announced in the Royal Gazette on September 1, 2023, which noted, “Loyalty to the Monarchy.”

Reporters noted that if the prosecutor finds merit or reason in Thaksin’s petition, a committee of senior prosecutors will be set up to review and provide an opinion. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the process of bringing him to court on June 18 will be postponed until the prosecutor’s review is completed.