Former Thai PM's passports revoked

The Former Thai PM's passport has been revoked in relation to an interview he gave to South Korean newspaper.

Former Thai PM's passports revoked

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Thai foreign ministry has revoked former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's two passports in relation to an interview he gave last week to a South Korean newspaper.

The foreign ministry said in a website statement Wednesday that it has revoked the Thai travel documents, after concluding that a recent interview given by Shinawatra - who has lived in exile since a 2008 two-year conviction for abuse of power - was a danger to the kingdom's dignity and national security.

In an interview published by South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo May 20, Shinawatra - prime minister from 2001 until he was overthrown in a Sep. 2006 coup - claimed that some of the Thai King’s privy councillors had ordered that the military stage the May 22, 2014 coup which overthrew his sister, Yingluck.

“The armed forces listen to privy councillors. When they did not want us to stay in power, they ordered Suthep to come out and ordered the armed forces to help him,” he said.

Suthep Thaugsuban, a former anti-Thaksin MP, led massive anti-government demonstrations which paralyzed Bangkok from Oct. 2013 to the coup in May 2014, while the Thai privy council is headed by former PM Prem Tinsulanonda - Shinawatra’s nemesis.

Outside of the passport revocation, police are also considering filing lèse-majesté charges against the former PM. 

The lèse-majesté law punishes those deemed guilty of defaming or insulting the king, queen, the heir apparent or the regent with a jail term between 3 and 15 years. It does not, however, protect privy councillors.

But the scope of the law has been widely expanded in the last ten years, and it has been used even to protect the reputation of kings who died centuries ago.

Since the military coup overthrew the elected government of Yingluck on May 22, at least 47 people have been arrested for lèse-majesté.

Shinawatra was previously accused after the 2006 coup, but was cleared due to lack of evidence. 

He left Thailand a few months before his conviction in 2008 for having used his position as premier to help his wife to buy a land plot in Bangkok at a low price.

He has never returned, and lives mostly in Dubai.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Mayıs 2015, 15:50