Sondhi may face arrest over lèse majesté allegations

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Thai media mogul and outspoken critic of the current government, Sondhi Limthongkul faces arrest should he fail to answer a second summons over lèse majesté allegations.

Instead of turning up to face the police yesterday, Sondhi sent his lawyer to deliver a written testimonial, and a variety of other evidence. The accusation that he insulted or attacked the monarch centres around speeches made at a number of the rallies organised by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) during their ongoing campaign to remove caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

When the summons was first issued on April 10, the country's justice minister, Chidchai Vanasatidya, quickly denied accusations that the charges were government-orchestrated. Chidchai, currently acting as Prime Minister said, "I affirm that the summoning has nothing to do with politics".

Sondhi has been given another seven days to surrender himself to police for questioning.

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