Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra threatens to sue over alleged lese majeste

Thailand's fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra assigned his lawyer to file a petition to the attorney-general asking for a review of the lese majeste charge against him.
Thailand's fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra assigned his lawyer to file a petition to the attorney-general asking for a review of the lese majeste charge against him. PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Thailand's fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has defended himself against the lese majeste case that is being taken against him, threatening to sue whoever has implicated him in the offence.

Last week, Thailand's new Attorney-General, Khemchai Chutiwong, said that his office had agreed to a police request to formally charge Thaksin with lese majeste and violation of the Computer Act.

The lese majeste charge relates to an interview Thaksin gave South Korean media in 2015, when he allegedly made contentious statements about who was behind a coup that ousted his sister's Pheu Thai-led government in May 2014, The Nation reported.

Thaksin, who lives in exile after fleeing to escape a jail sentence for graft following his ouster in a 2006 coup, took to Twitter on Monday night (Oct 9) to defend himself saying he was considering taking legal action against whoever had implicated his name in the wrongdoing.

"I'm so concerned (about the false claim). I insist I have never known that person (who claimed his name). And I have never thought about insulting the monarchy," he tweeted via his @ThaksinLive without elaborating who he was referring to.

"I will have my legal team sue whoever implicated me in an insult of the monarchy. No matter whom I know or don't know," he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Thaksin assigned his lawyer to file a petition to the attorney-general asking for a review of the lese majeste charge against him.

His lawyer would submit the petition on Thursday at the Office of the Attorney-General, TV24 People Station, a red-shirt movement affiliate news channel, reported on Monday.

Thai authorities said the next step would be to locate Thaksin and issue an arrest warrant. Once his whereabouts were confirmed, the Thai authorities would ask for his extradition.

Thaksin was last week in Dubai after spending time with his family in London last month.