Thaksin denies lese majeste law violation, secures 500,000 baht bail

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After being released on parole for only a day, former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra turned himself into authorities again, yesterday, February 19, in connection with a lese majeste case. He successfully secured bail of 500,000 baht.

The 74 year old former PM was released on parole after a six-month detention at Police General Hospital. On February 18, he returned to his home, Ban Chan Song La, for the first time in 17 years.

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The second place that Thaksin visited was the Office of the Attorney General. He went to the place yesterday, to report himself to the Attorney General Director Preecha Sudsanguan. Thaksin is accused of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Law, or lese majeste law, 11 times from 2006 onwards.

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Among the 11 cases, seven were dropped due to lack of evidence, while the remaining four accusations, made in 2006, 2011, and 2016, are still under investigation.

Thaksin denies all allegations and expresses a desire to prove his innocence. The Attorney General saw that the cases required more investigation and evidence gathering so granted temporary release to Thaksin with the collateral of 500,000 baht. Thaksin is required to participate in the next hearing scheduled for April 10.

After Thaksin’s return home, Preecha informed the media that authorities agreed to grant bail due to Thaksin’s critical illness. Thaksin had to use a wheelchair, wore neck collars, spoke with a hoarse voice, and appeared exhausted from his illnesses.

Since Thaksin’s release on parole, his reported critical illnesses have become a topic on social media. Many netizens noted that he appeared healthier compared to other released prisoners. The former PM and his family have been urged to clarify the health details to the public to prove that his release was not based on any privileges.

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Besides the Attorney General’s Office director, some politicians confirmed Thaksin’s critical illness. The Minister of Defence, Sutin Klungsang, insisted that Thaksin was suffering from broken bones, while the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Phumitham Wechayachai, stated that Thaksin’s shoulder tendon was torn.

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