Thai palace official arrested for lese majeste charges

AP News
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Posted: Jun 11, 2015 4:00 AM
Thai palace official arrested for lese majeste charges

BANGKOK (AP) — A royal household official attached to the Thai crown prince's ex-wife on Thursday turned himself in over multiple charges, including defamation against the country's monarchy.

Montri Sotangkur, a senior palace official under former Princess Srirasmi, faces up to 20 years in prison from four arrest warrants, Bangkok police chief Lt. Gen. Siwara Rangsiphrammanakun said.

He was accused of abuse of authority by claiming royal connections in demanding positions with two of Thailand's influential private enterprises.

Thailand's lese majeste law is considered the harshest in the world, with those accused of defaming, insulting or threatening the monarchy facing jail terms ranging from three to 15 years on each count.

Several family members of former Princess Srirasmi were detained in a high-profile corruption scandal late last year, shortly before she relinquished her royal title.

National police chief Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung said police will investigate if Montri was also involved in other graft cases.