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Tue, 06/18/2024 - 17:44
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Former Thai PM Thaksin Released On Bail In Lèse-Majesté Case

BANGKOK, June 18 (Bernama) -- Thailand’s former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been released on a bail of 500,000 baht (RM64,138) by the Criminal Court here Tuesday, after he was formally indicted for insulting the monarchy and charges related to computer crime in connection with comments made during an interview in 2015.


The court said Thaksin has denied all the charges and has requested for bail due to old age. 


"After consideration, the court approved a bail of 500,000 baht and Thaksin is prohibited from travelling outside the country. The court also fixed Aug 19 for the pre-trial hearing," it said in a statement here on Tuesday.


A spokesman for the Attorney-General's Office (OAG) said Thaksin reported to public prosecutors on Tuesday morning and was taken to the Criminal Court for arraignment on his lèse-majesté case.


The spokesman said the Prosecutor for Criminal Cases Division 8, as the lead prosecutor assigned by the attorney-general, has filed the charges against Thaksin in the Criminal Court according to the aforementioned allegations.


Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, also known as the lèse-majesté law, carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison for each offence.


According to Thai media, Thaksin, 74, is accused of defaming the monarchy during an interview with the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo on May 21, 2015. In the interview, he allegedly claimed privy councillors supported the 2014 coup that ousted the government of his younger sister, Yingluck Shinawatra.


Last month, the OAG announced its decision to indict Thaksin, who was on parole at the time. The indictment, initially set for an earlier date but was postponed to Tuesday (today) because Thaksin had reportedly contracted COVID-19.


Thaksin is one of the most popular political leaders in Thai history. He was in exile after a military coup in September 2006 and faced a series of corruption charges. 


On Aug 22, 2023, Thaksin returned to Thailand, knowing that he would have to serve an eight-year prison sentence issued in absentia. He felt ill and was hospitalised the same day he arrived in Thailand.


On Sept 1, Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn granted him partial clemency, reducing the sentence from eight years to one year. On