Minister: Pardon petition no legal basis


Justice Minister Piraphan Saleeratwipak holds a press conference over pro-Thaksin groups’ bid to seek royal pardon for ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra. By laws, only those who already served jail terms can seek royal pardon, he said.

The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and its red-shirt supporters must stop their signature campaign for a royal pardon for former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra because it does not meet the requirements of the law, Justice Minister Peerapan Saleerathawipak said on Thursday.

“The principle of law applies to offenders who accept their own mistakes, ” Mr Peerapan said.

“A royal pardon is granted to reduce the penalty, but not as an acquittal. There is no law on the books that can revoke a court ruling,” he said.

The justice minister said he feared the UDD’s move to collect a million signatures on a petition to seek a royal pardon for the fugitive politician could cause further unrest in the country.

Leaders of the anti-government movement should already understand the law, but  may be trying to intentionally  mislead the people, he said.


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