Germany Finds No Evidence Against Thailand’s King, DPA Says
(Bloomberg) -- The German government has found no evidence that Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has done anything illegal while living there, the German Press Agency DPA said, citing a Foreign Ministry statement.
Vajiralongkorn has spent the majority of his time over the past several years in the European nation. In October, thousands of Thai protesters, who are demanding more accountability and transparency from the monarchy, submitted a letter to the German Embassy in Bangkok, asking the authorities to probe whether he has exercised royal authority during his time there in violation of the country’s law.
“The German government has no reliable evidence that the Thai king has taken any such decisions during his stay in Germany,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written answer to a parliamentary question. The ministry also said it expected Vajiralongkorn not to make decisions that “contravene the German legal system, international law or internationally guaranteed human rights” while on German soil.
For nearly four months, Thailand has seen an escalating pro-democracy protest movement that has called for the government’s resignation, a rewriting of the constitution, and reform of the monarchy -- the most powerful institution in the country. The protesters are breaking deeply entrenched taboos in Thailand, where insulting or criticizing top royals can lead to long jail sentences.
Demands for reforms in the monarchy include that the king no longer endorses coups and getting rid of laws that stifle discussion of the royal family. On Sunday, the protesters attempted to deliver letters they’d written asking for reform directly to the king. The police used high-pressure water cannons to disperse them before they could reach the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
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