Thaksin scandal: Justice minister refuses to weigh in on charges

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong remained tight-lipped regarding the controversial lese majeste charge against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The case, which has captivated the nation, saw Tawee insist the Justice Ministry would remain hands-off, stating it was the purview of the attorney general, while Thaksin retained the right to petition for fair treatment.

Reporters sought Tawee’s reaction following the revelation by the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) that Thaksin’s lawyers had lodged a second petition for fairness. This new petition follows the first, submitted on January 17 while Thaksin was still at the Police General Hospital, just before his early parole release in February. Despite this effort, Attorney-General Amnat Jetcharoenrakl proceeded with the indictment related to the 74 year old premier’s 2015 interview in South Korea.

The OAG recently announced that Thaksin would face an indictment hearing next Tuesday, June 18. Thaksin’s second petition alleges interference in the police investigation by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) junta, which took power after the 2014 coup, asserting that investigators were intimidated by the NCPO.

Related news

Over the weekend, Thaksin vehemently denied the charges, describing them as “poison fruit from the poison tree” of the 2014 coup.

Although Tawee is known for his close ties with the Shinawatra family, his current role as justice minister in the Pheu Thai-led government, a successor of Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai Party, did not influence his stance. Tawee firmly stated that the Justice Ministry had no jurisdiction over Thaksin’s legal case.

“The attorney-general will have the final say.”

When pressed on whether the lese majesty and computer crime charges were justified, he declined to comment, reiterating that Thaksin had the right to contest the charges through legal channels. Thaksin faces these charges for allegedly accusing members of the Privy Council, advisors to the monarch, of orchestrating the 2014 coup that overthrew his sister Yingluck’s administration, reported The Nation.

Crime NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles