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Lese majeste charges against Jatuporn lifted

May 11. 2012
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By The Nation

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Observers believe this might be related to the possibility of him getting a Cabinet seat

The Department of Special Investigation has found no cause to invoke the lese majeste law against Pheu Thai MP Jatuporn Promphan, DSI director-general Tarit Pengdith said yesterday. 

“The DSI report recommends that the charges be dropped,” he said. The investigation report is awaiting approval from the public prosecutor.
 
Tarit said the report had found that Jatuporn’s rally speech on April 10, 2011 could not be construed as violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, which is a key clause related to lese majeste.
 
At a rally held at Democracy Monument to mark the one-year anniversary on the red-shirt crackdown, Jatuporn referred to “royally-bestowed bullets” as he attacked the military and the Abhisit Vejjajiva government in his speech. 
 
Some observers say Jatuporn’s case is being dropped because he might end up in Yingluck Shinawatra’s Cabinet after the reshuffle in June. 
 
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit said yesterday that he had settled the conflict between Jatuporn and fellow Pheu Thai MP Chalong Raewrang. 
 
“I have spoken to them both and they have resolved their differences since yesterday,” he said. 
 
The conflict arose when Chalong stepped forward to oppose the possibility of Jatuporn getting a Cabinet seat, saying his appointment would be unfair to MPs from the Central region and also because he faced lese majeste charges. 
 
Yongyuth said the two MPs had already come to an understanding, though, he added, the red shirts would only stop attacking Chalong if he stopped airing critical views about Jatuporn. 
 
Meanwhile, Sonthaya Kunplome, the de facto leader of Palang Chon Party, dismissed speculation about his party demanding a change to the allocation of Cabinet seats. 
 
“Palang Chon has not demanded that its quota for Culture be swapped with Tourism and Sports,” he said, adding that his party was not aiming for the coalition quota currently held by Chart Thai Pattana Party. 
 
Also, he said, the ruling Pheu Thai Party had not signalled that a Cabinet reshuffle was in the cards. 
 
Sonthaya also said that he was not planning to fly to Beijing to consult former PM Thaksin Shinawatra about his political future once the ban is lifted at the end of this month. He is one of the 111 former executives of the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai whose political ban will come to an end at the end of May.
 
Thaksin is scheduled to begin this three-week-long visit to the Chinese capital today, and it has been speculated that many of 111 banned politicians are planning to meet him there. 
 
It is believed that Thaksin’s trip out of Dubai was meant to coincide with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s visit to nearby Bahrain on Sunday. 
 
Meanwhile, Thaksin’s legal advisor Noppadon Pattama tried to tone down the conflicts among Pheu Thai MPs. “Pheu Thai members should be patient and avoid attacking each other because the Cabinet reshuffle will not happen soon,” he said in an e-mail to the press. 
 
He explained that Yingluck’s immediate problem was the rising prices of daily commodities, and denied reports that Thaksin was visiting Beijing so he could discuss the imminent Cabinet reshuffle. 
 
“The cabinet reshuffle will be decided by Yingluck alone,” he said.
 

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