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On 30 March, Pol Sub-Lt Pongniwat Yutthaphanboriban, Director-General of the Office of Criminal Litigation of the Office of Attorney General, said that the public prosecutor had decided not to indict Jakraphob Penkair on lèse majesté charges since Sept last year.

Jakraphob, a former minister in the Thaksin Shinawatra government, was accused of committing the offence when he gave a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on 29 Aug 2007.

Pongniwat said that the case had been under the responsibility of the former Director-General Kayasit Phitsawongprakan.  He took office after the decision had already been made, so he did not know the details of the case.  Now the case and the public prosecutor’s opinion have been forwarded to the Police Chief to consider whether he agrees with the public prosecutor’s opinion or not.  And he has sent a written reply to Pol Lt Col Wattanasak Mungkijkarndee, who filed the police complaint against Jakraphob, to inform him about the decision in response to his inquiry about progress in the case.

In response to Wattanasak’s criticism that the decision was political as Jakraphob was a leader of the red shirts who support the current government, Kayasit, former Director General of the Office of Criminal Litigation, said that that was Wattanasak’s personal opinion, but the case must be based on evidence.

Jakraphob fled from Thailand in April 2009.

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