Police charge leaders of new party with online offenses

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Thai billionaire Thananthorn Juangroongruangkit is shown in this Thursday, March 15, 2018, file photo. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Thai billionaire Thananthorn Juangroongruangkit is shown in this Thursday, March 15, 2018, file photo. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Bangkok (AP) — Police have charged the leaders of a new political party that strongly opposes the current military government with violating the computer crime law, which could result in five-year prison terms.

Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and two other senior party members were charged by police with violating a section of the law that makes it a crime to transmit false information or information that damages the country’s stability, group spokeswoman Pannika Wanich said.

She said the charges involve a June 29 Facebook live video posted on the pages of Thanathorn and the party, but did not describe how it may have violated the law. She said police issued summonses earlier in the week for the three party members to turn themselves in on Friday, but they had busy schedules and would ask for the date to be postponed to the middle of next month.

“And since all three have now officially become defendants in the case, our legal team needs some time to prepare,” she said.

The Future Forward party is a new grouping featuring young politicians and is viewed as offering a real alternative to the ruling government and its allies in upcoming elections.