Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra to Face Charges for Allegedly Insulting Monarchy

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is set to be indicted on charges of insulting the monarchy, a serious accusation under Thailand’s strict lese-majeste law. The charges stem from an interview Thaksin gave to a Korean newspaper nine years ago, in which he allegedly insulted the monarchy, an accusation his lawyer disputes. Thaksin, a controversial figure who returned to Thailand last year after a 15-year exile, faces this legal challenge amid growing enforcement of the lese-majeste law since the Thai military took power in 2014.

  • Thaksin Shinawatra, a former Thai Prime Minister, is to be charged with insulting the monarchy based on an interview given nine years ago.
  • The lese-majeste law under which Thaksin is being charged prohibits insults against the monarchy and has been strictly enforced since the military coup in 2014.
  • Thaksin’s lawyer contends that the video of the interview, which allegedly contains the insult, is not authentic.
  • Thaksin is a significant political figure, having founded a highly successful election-winning party in the early 2000s, and remains influential in Thai politics despite his long exile.
  • His indictment comes amidst a political climate where the monarchy remains a central issue, with even the reformist Move Forward Party facing challenges for proposing amendments to the lese-majeste law.
  • The case against Thaksin could serve as a warning to limit his political ambitions, reflecting a pattern of using legal challenges to curb the influence of successful elected politicians.

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