Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra appears seriously ill during lese majeste case, says senior prosecutor

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19th February 2024 – (Bangkok) Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra made a concerning appearance at the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) on Monday, leaving a senior prosecutor to express concerns about his deteriorating health. Preecha Sudsa-nguan, the director-general of the OAG’s office of criminal cases, revealed that Thaksin, who is facing a lese majeste case, seemed seriously ill during the proceedings.

Thaksin, who arrived in a wheelchair due to his weakened state, exhibited signs of frailty and was unable to speak. Additionally, he wore a neck brace, suggesting further health complications. The former prime minister’s condition raised alarm among those present, including Mr. Preecha.

The charges against Thaksin stem from comments he made during an interview with Chosun Ilbo in Seoul back in May 2015. Thaksin allegedly defamed the monarchy by claiming that members of the privy council supported the 2014 coup that led to the removal of his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, from power.

Following the hearing, Thaksin was released on bail amounting to 500,000 baht and instructed to return to the OAG on 10th April to hear the attorney-general’s decision regarding the case. Attorney-General Amnat Chetcharoenrak has ordered further police interrogation before making a final determination on whether to indict Thaksin in court.

Thaksin’s visibly deteriorated health has raised questions among observers about his ability to effectively participate in the legal proceedings. Concerns are growing regarding his overall well-being, considering the severity of his condition during the lese majeste case.