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Foreign Minister angry at foreign diplomats who attended Thanathorn’s reporting to police

Tanutam Thawan

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Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai vented his anger today at foreign diplomats who attended the reporting of Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit to police on Saturday morning in Bangkok.

The diplomats were from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the US, as well as EU and UN human rights officials.

Don says he’s considering inviting the diplomats in for a chat saying he wants to remind them of protocols and practices that should be observed.

The presence of the diplomats has been widely criticised as a high level interference in the Thai judicial system.

The move to drag them in for a dressing down follows the group of foreign diplomats visiting the Pathumwan police station on Saturday morning when the Future Forward party leader reported to acknowledge charges against him for offences allegedly committed four years ago.

Foreign Minister Don says that foreign diplomats must not get involved in Thai judicial affairs unless the suspect is a citizen of their countries, adding that no country would allow foreign envoys to meddle in the judicial affairs of the host country because it is against UN protocols.

Even if the envoys were invited to observe the judicial process, Don says they should not take up the invitation, apparently referring to a report that the diplomats were invited by Thanathorn.

Thanathorn has been charged with sedition, illegal assembly of more than five people in public and abetting the escape of a suspect. He will be tried by a military court.

Don says that his ministry had already circulated guidelines on what foreign diplomats based in Thailand should and shouldn’t do whilst in the kingdom.

If foreign embassies have any doubt about the protocols, he said they could seek advice from the Foreign Ministry “as these are globally-recognised practices.”

“It is unprecedented that the foreign diplomats are present in the interrogation room. If they want to know about the atmosphere in the interrogation room, they should wait outside the police station.”

 

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