The junta considers Thaksin Shinawatra and his associates as the likely source of all opposition to their military dictatorship.
In the view of the junta and its royalist and anti-democratic allies the 2006 military coup failed because Thaksin’s political influence wasn’t nullified and expunged. One of the tasks set for the 2014 military coup group was to rectify this situation.
An obvious problem for the ruling junta has been that attacking Thaksin means getting at his family – particularly Yingluck – and his supporters in the Puea Thai Party and the red shirts, while not being able to target Thaksin directly.
Recent changes to Criminal Procedure Code procedures will allow “courts to try cases where the defendant is absent.”
Human rights lawyer Anon Nampa said “the amendment’s main purpose is to prosecute ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra and other political suspects who have fled the country…”. He added that the move would further “ruin the justice system…”.
The junta appears to want to prevent Thaksin from ever returning to Thailand. Such punishment is reserved for those considered to be dangerously anti-monarchy.