Ultra-royalist groupThai Pakdee have filed lese-majeste and sedition complaints against progressive politician and activist Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit on Thursday.
The royalist group claims that the former leader of the now dissolved Future Forward Party and the current leader of the Progressive Movement insulted the royal institution during one of his Facebook live sessions last month.
In the video that was posted on January 18, Thanathorn’s questioned the selection process which led to Siam Bioscience being picked as the sole producer of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in Thailand.
The company is wholly-owned by the Crown Property Bureau and Thanathorn is questioning whether it was picked over what he said are more suitable producers.
Warong Dechgitvigrom, Thai Pakdee’s leader, and other representatives from the group went to file the complaints at Nang Lerg Police Station.
He said Thanathorn distorted the truth and wrongly accused the royal institution in violation of Section 112 of the Criminal Code, more commonly known as the lese-majeste law, which carries a jail sentence of up to 15 years.
Warong also asked the public to keep an eye on the new US government which he believes would apply more pressure on the Thai government due to its use of the lese-majeste law.
Criminal Court appearance
On Thursday, Thanathorn made an appearance at the criminal court to appeal a court order forcing him to take down his social media posts.
The order for Thanathorn and his various organizations to remove their posts came after the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DE) said that some of the content could be in violation of Section 112.
Thanathorn denied any wrongdoing on Thursday and that he was simply relaying previous statements made by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha have used before.
The court will finish considering Thanathorn’s appeal by February 8.