The Nation (15 May 2009: “Thaksin to be indicted”) reported on lese majeste charges likely to be laid against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra / ทักษิณ ชินวัตร. Police officials said that Thaksin will be “recommended for indictment” because of what are said to be “offensive comments about the monarchy” during the events that led to the Songkran Uprising and immediately after.
Special Branch commissioner Lt General Theeradet Rodphothong stated that the “police report has drawn the conclusion that Thaksin has committed lese majeste as per Article 112 of the Criminal Code…”. The policeman added that “Thaksin made numerous disrespectful references to the royal institution in his interviews to the foreign press describing the riots by the red-shirt crowd.”
The Nation reports that the “investigation report is expected to be submitted for final review by police headquarters before forwarding to the Attorney-General’s Office.”
In early November 2009, Thaksin was again been accused of lese majeste following an interview with The Times. The Democrat Party-led government is reportedly investigating. For more on this see here. A group of self-proclaimed nationalists and Thaksin opponents laid complaints with the police.
In February 2011, Democrat MP Watchara Petthong filed lese majeste complaints against Thaksin , Robert Amsterdam and Thanapol Eawsakul (as editor of the Same Sky/Fa diew kan) for the publication of the Thai version of the White Paper by Amsterdam & Preoff on the violence of April and May 2010. The book has been a best seller, and was the initial case taken to the International Criminal Court by red shirts seeking redress for the violence.
Thaksin apparently holds the record for the number of lese majeste cases, at four. The first is คดีพิเศษที่ 101/53 กล่าวหา พ.ต.ท.ทักษิณ ชินวัตร กับพวก (Special Case 101/53 for Thaksin and “his group”). Another case was opened against Thaksin (Special Case / คดีพิเศษที่ 43/54) which apparently related to the story in The Times. The third case is Special Case / คดีพิเศษที่ 44/54 relates to a video link to a UDD rally in Chiang Mai, where Thaksin is alleged to have made insulting or libelous comments against the king. Finally, Thaksin’s fourth case is Special Case / คดีพิเศษ 118/53 for an interview considered to contain lese majeste content.
Background on the Thaksin cases:
There is too much background regarding Thaksin and Thailand’s politics for PPT to be able to record it all here. Thaksin is arguably the most controversial and most popular politician Thailand has had in the modern era. For a flavor, see PPT’s commentaries pages, the BBC profile and the Wikipedia entry on Thaksin.
There are many reports. Here PPT lists just a few.
Prachatai, 22 February 2011: “Lèse majesté charges filed against Robert Amsterdam’s book”
Matichon, 3 January 2011: “เปิดบัญชีคดีพิเศษ”ดีเอสไอ” 33 คดีเข้าข่ายหมิ่นเบื้องสูง“
ABC News, 11 November 2009: “Thaksin faces fresh lese majeste charges”
Bangkok Post, 10 November 2009: “Lese majeste complaint against Thaksin”
The Nation, 15 May 2009: “Thaksin to be indicted”