Court clears Thai lawyer’s remark against Thaksin

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Thai lawyer and politician Chuan Leekpai’s controversial statement branding ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra as a “harbinger of doom” for the Deep South has been deemed fair game by the South Bangkok Criminal Court.

The legal battle, which teetered on the edge of defamation, reached its climax today with a verdict that left both sides reeling.

The lawsuit, initiated just three days before the statute of limitations expired, accused Chuan of defaming Thaksin during a speech delivered nearly a decade earlier. However, the court dismissed claims of malice, asserting that Chuan’s words were merely the expression of a seasoned politician’s opinion.

During the trial, Chuan stood firm, asserting his right to speak out based on his political experience. He cited testimonies, including that of a former military commander, to bolster his argument that Thaksin’s policies had ignited violence in the Deep South. Allegations of Thaksin’s orders to eliminate insurgency leaders per month were brought to light, painting a stark picture of the tumultuous events preceding the resurgence of conflict in the region.

Related news

In a post-verdict address to reporters, Chuan reiterated his stance, vowing to monitor the government’s response to the ongoing crisis in the Deep South. He pointed to recent attacks as evidence that the situation remained far from resolved, reported The Nation.

Meanwhile, Thaksin’s lawyer, Winyatti Chartmontree, acknowledged the court’s recognition of both figures as public figures entitled to critique each other’s policies.

In related news, the Corrections Department is under fire for its alleged double standards in handling the case of former Thai PM Thaksin. Despite being imprisoned at the Police General Hospital for six months, 74 year old Thaksin enjoyed an early release, sparking accusations of preferential treatment.

Critics are pointing fingers at Justice Minister Police Colonel Tawee Sodsong, the Corrections Department’s overseer, holding him accountable for what they label as VIP treatment.

Bangkok NewsCrime NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

Related Articles