11 July 2024

Police are considering filing a charge of lèse majesté against a hot-tempered motorist, who allegedly makde insulting remarks about the Thai people in general and the country’s highest institution, in a road rage incident in the Buddha Monthon district of Nakhon Pathom on Wednesday.

Pol Lt-Gen Kamron Boonlert, commander of Nakhon Pathom provincial police, said today (Friday) that police have released 24-year old foreign-educated student, Rachot Wangitcharoensuk, without filing a custodial charge, late Thursday night after questioning him for several hours.

Mr. Rachot was, however, charged with the petty offences of personal insult and common assault without serious injury before he was released without bail.

He said police in charge of the case have been collecting evidence to establish if additional charges are warranted, including that of lèse majesté.  Police are also waiting for a doctor’s assessment of the man’s mental health.

Mr. Rachot yesterday offered a public apology via his Facebook page, appealing to his critics not to involve his wife in the incident, adding that there was no excuse for his behaviour.

Buddha Monthon district police today sought permission from the Nakhon Pathom district court to postpone the filing of charges because the initial inquiry is still underway.

On Thursday, Mr. Rachain Trakulwiang, president of the Federation of Thai People Protecting the Monarchy, lodged a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division, accusing Mr. Rachot of committing an act of lèse majesté and insulting the Thai people.

He also handed over to the CSD police a video clip of the road rage incident, during which Rachot allegedly made the insulting remarks.

The video clip has gone viral on the social media, attracting millions of views in just a couple of days.  It also provoked a group of about 500 angry people to converge on Buddha Monthon police station Thursday night to demand police to take legal action against Mr. Rachot.