Thaksin to be indicted for alleged royal defamation

Prosecutors in Thailand say former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is going to be indicted for allegedly defaming the monarchy.

The prosecutors say in a 2015 interview with foreign media, Thaksin made a remark that is suspected of violating the country's lese-majeste law... which forbids defamation of the royal family.

Thaksin's lawyer says the former leader was unable to appear at the hearing because he is infected with COVID-19. The lawyer says Thaksin is "ready to prove his innocence in the justice system". Indictment proceedings have been postponed until next month.

Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 coup and went into self-imposed exile for 15 years. He returned to Thailand in August last year.
He was sent to prison on charges that included corruption, but was freed on parole in February.

The 74-year-old has recently met with dignitaries in and outside the country, including Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. He has also visited various parts of the country.
Local media say the indictment can be seen as a deterrent by conservatives in Thailand against Thaksin.