Thaksin challenges 'lese majeste' allegations

BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN) - Family avows loyalty to monarchy after attorney-general agrees on indictment.

Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has threatened to take legal action against people who have implicated him in actions deemed to have insulted the monarchy, while denying any involvement with lese majeste.“I’m so concerned [about the false claim]. I insist I have never known that person [who used his name]. And I have never thought about insulting the Monarchy,” he tweeted via @ThaksinLive on Monday night, without elaborating to whom he was referring.
Thaksin also condemned the action and said he would file a lawsuit against anyone who had implicated him. “I will have my legal team sue whoever implicated me in an insult of the monarchy,” he tweeted. His two daughters also supported their father on social media. 

On Instagram yesterday, Thaksin’s eldest daughter Pintongta Kunakornwong insisted her father was loyal to the monarchy.Posting a screenshot of Thaksin’s tweets, Pintongta wrote: “The truth is the truth. Please, be strong. You have my support.”

Pintongta wrote that she sympathised with her father who she said had been a victim of mud-slinging since he entered the civil service to his current exile.“We [Thaksin’s children] all know very well that dad’s loyalty to the monarchy is true and has never declined,” Pintongta wrote.Paetongtarn, Thaksin’s youngest daughter, also posted the screenshots of Thaksin’s tweets but did not write any further comments.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday that the judicial system would determine whether Thaksin was guilty of lese majeste. “Let justice work,” he said.
In a related development, Thaksin assigned his lawyer to file a petition with the Office of the Attorney-General asking for a review of the lese majeste charge.

 His lawyer will submit the petition today to the Office of the Attorney-General, TV24 People Station, a red-shirt affiliated news channel, reported on Monday.Last week, the new attorney-general, Khemchai Chutiwong, revealed that the office had agreed with a police request to formally charge Thaksin with lese majeste and violations of the Computer Crime Act. 

The charge relates to an interview Thaksin gave to South Korean media in 2015, when he allegedly made contentious statements about who was behind a coup that ousted the Pheu Thai-led government in May 2014. Authorities said the next step would be to locate Thaksin and issue an arrest warrant, adding that once his whereabouts were confirmed, they would ask for his extradition. Last week Thaksin was in Dubai after spending time with his family in London last month.

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