Police set up committee to oversee lèse majesté cases

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BANGKOK, June 23 — Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, as acting commissioner, has ordered setting up a committee to handle lèse majesté cases and related information.

The committee to be chaired by the Royal Thai Police Commissioner and comprised of relevant agencies, including Special Branch Police, Foreign Affairs Division and the Office of Information and Communication Technology, both under the Royal Thai Police.

The committee would have jurisdiction to inspect information and content of all media which might pose a threat or impact the country’s monarchy.

The committee would also have the power to propose temporary shutdowns of media in accordance with the law, as well as set up prevention measures and provide legal procedures and strict investigations to those accused of lèse majesté.

Gen Watcharapol also appointed Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Somyot Poompanmoung to head the investigative unit on war weapons cases since March, as police have already uncovered leads and made arrests related to more than 10 cases during the past three months.

The police believe that many of the cases are connected and quite complicated, and that most are working in syndicates which are supported that by influential groups of people in society.

Gen Watcharapol said that if they are prolonged the cases could affect the country’s national security.