Police to summon cartoonist over PM defamation case

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BANGKOK, May 9 – Police will summon influential daily newspaper cartoonist Chai Rachawat for questioning within two weeks after a lawyer authorised by the prime minister filed a defamation lawsuit against him last week.

Chai Rachawat, the professional name of Somchai Katanyutanan, posted comments on his Facebook page criticising Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra following her recent speech at a political forum in Mongolia.

His Facebook post drew ire among members of the ruling Pheu Thai Party, in particular its women MPs.

Pol Maj Gen Anuchai Lekbamrung, deputy metropolitan police chief, said after meeting with an investigation team, the police will issue a summon for the cartoonist to appear for questioning within two weeks before pressing any charges against him.

The lawyer for the premier filed lawsuits against him — one for libel and one under the computer crime act.

Gen Anuchai said the police investigators have a dozen witnesses including language and legal experts as well as foreign ministry officials and documents for investigation.