Monday, May 25, 2015Monday, May 25, 2015

Thai coup leader denies conspiracy with protesters

Published on Jun 28, 2014 2:32 PM
Thai Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks during a meeting with members of the International Chamber of Commerce at the Royal Thai Army Headquarters in Bangkok June 19, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand's junta-leading Army Chief has dismissed allegations he plotted to seize power for years before May's coup, issuing an apparent rebuke to the leader of the protests that crippled the former government.

"It is not true" General Prayuth Chan-O-Cha said, addressing accusations that he had discussed uprooting the divisive Shinawatra clan from politics with firebrand protest chief Suthep Thaugsuban.

"I did not join any process or take part with any side," General Prayuth said late on Friday in a weekly television address to the nation.

While he did not directly reference Suthep, he was prodded into the denial after reports that the protest figurehead told a charity dinner that he had been in talks with the army chief since 2010.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!