Thailand to charge opposition leader over ‘royal vaccine’ remarks


Thailand to charge opposition leader over ‘royal vaccine’ remarks

Politician faces lèse-majesté law after claim Covid jabs an attempt to ‘shore up’ monarchy’s popularity

John Reed

Thailand will charge the country’s leading opposition figure under its harsh lèse-majesté law after he accused a company owned by King Maha Vajiralongkorn of seeking to profit from distributing the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

The move against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit comes as prime minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha’s government attempts to silence criticism of Thailand’s billionaire monarch by opening cases under the law, which carries a maximum 15-year prison term, against dozens of supporters of a six-month-old democracy movement.

Thailand’s digital affairs ministry said on Wednesday that the government had also asked police to charge Thanathorn, who has faced multiple criminal charges since entering politics in 2018, under the “computer-related crimes” act...

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