Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has appealed to all Thai fugitives abroad to return home to defend themselves in the court of law, assuring that their cases will be treated with justice and fairness.
He made the appeal during his weekly nationwide address to the Thai people on Friday night (July 21).
The prime minister said that there is an issue of concern � that is several Thais have escaped the law to other countries and some of them are involved in subversive activities to discredit the government, the country and the Monarchy.
These fugitives claimed they were unfairly treated or ousted by the coup, said the prime minister.
Another point of concern is the fact that some Thai nationals who flee the country and then attempt to destroy the credibility of the government, the country, and institutions. Many have already transferred their citizenship and have used the (May 22, 2014) coup d'etat as the reason, he said.
We must create understanding that these people may have broken the laws. The investigation process is not by the National Council for Peace and Order or by special committees. These bodies only bring alleged wrongdoers into the justice system. The court verdict will depend on evidence presented.
Gen Prayut also questioned how these fugitives are able to afford living in other countries.
The prime minister maintained that the government's duty is to bring the fugitives to stand trial before the court of law and to enforce the law in a fair manner.
He assured that the returning refugees would be given a fair trial, saying that the government itself cannot force the court to rule the way it wishes.
Please return home to fight the cases. I am unable to influence the courts, so do not be afraid, Gen Prayut said.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)