Progressive Movement chairman Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit was granted a temporary release by the Criminal Court yesterday, April 12th, after being indicted on Lèse Majesté charges over his online talk on the government’s AstraZeneca vaccine procurement plan, allegedly implicating the institution, on January 18, 2021.
According to the accusation filed by Nang Loeng police, Thanathorn’s Facebook Live video mentioned his own opinions and beliefs of how the government was allegedly being too reliant on only one vaccine company, AstraZeneca, as it was the only company that gave the vaccine production authority to the Thai medicine-produced company ‘Siam Bioscience’, owned by the Crown Property Bureau under his Royal Majesty the King’s personal control.
As of yesterday, the Criminal Court accepted the case for trial and scheduled for a testimony of the defendant who was charged with defamation and imported defaming information of the institution into a computer system, violating the Computer Crime Act.
The Court had granted bail for 90,000 baht and scheduled another evidence examination on June 6th at 9:00 AM. under a condition that Thanathorn must not conduct any similar actions to affect the monarchy during the temporary release.
Speaking after the bail, the Progressive Movement leader assured that what he did was to protect the institution and the country. The time has now proved his statement last year that the best vaccine is mRNA, according to him.
“The time had now answered whether what was said was for the public interest or not. People could decide for themselves. As for the testimony after this, we’d deny all allegations and were ready to defend the case. We believed that we were innocent and would be fully prepared,” Thanathorn added.
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