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Thaksin denies disrespect for royals

May 15, 2009 at 7:05 PM   |   Comments

BANGKOK, May 15 (UPI) -- Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Friday none of his published statements have shown disrespect for the king and queen.

Police said Thursday they would charge Thaksin with lese majeste for telling two British news organizations that King Bhumibol Adulyade was the only person who could bring a halt to recent political violence, The Bangkok Post reported.

"The accusation is very serious and contradicts what actually happened," Thaksin said in the statement released through his former lawyer.

Thaksin, who has been convicted in Thailand of fraud, is now living in Britain while the government seeks his extradition.

The king, who has reigned for more than 60 years, has limited political power. Thaksin was ousted by a military coup, and the government has generally been unstable, but the monarchy is revered by most Thais and protected by the lese majeste law.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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