Thai Billionaire Charged With Royal Insult Over Vaccine Query – News 24-7 Live News 24-7 Live
Thai Billionaire Charged With Royal Insult Over Vaccine Query

Thai Billionaire Charged With Royal Insult Over Vaccine Query

Bangkok: 

A billionaire Thai opposition figure was charged Tuesday with defaming the monarchy after he questioned the government’s alleged over-reliance on coronavirus vaccines from a company linked to the royal family.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, founder of the now-dissolved Future Forward Party, posted a video on Facebook in January in which he queried whether Thailand was leaning too heavily on Siam Bioscience for its vaccination campaign.

The company is owned by the Crown Property Bureau, which manages the royal family’s multi-billion-dollar fortune.

The police on Tuesday charged Thanathorn with lese majeste and a computer crime over the video, but he was defiant.

“It has had a positive result — encouraging the government to reassess the vaccine policy to manage the Covid-19 situation. There is nothing to worry about,” he said after being charged.

“(The police) did not bring up any quotes or anything that was said specifically. It was generally a charge for speaking via Facebook.”

Those convicted under Thailand’s strict royal defamation laws can face up to 15 years in jail per charge.

Thailand has ordered 61 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Siam Bioscience plans to manufacture 200 million doses of that vaccine for the kingdom and wider region each year.

Thanathorn’s will have to report to police again on May 7.

News Source: NDTV News

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