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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai officials seek Red Shirt chief in Kingdom

Red Shirt leader Wuthipong ‘Ko Tee’ Kochathamakun in January 2014.
Red Shirt leader Wuthipong ‘Ko Tee’ Kochathamakun in January 2014. Bangkok Post

Thai officials seek Red Shirt chief in Kingdom

Thai authorities are investigating whether an outspoken and wanted leader of Thailand’s opposition Red Shirt movement has fled from hiding in Laos to Cambodia, according to Thai media reports.

Wuthipong Kochathamakun reportedly fled Thailand for Laos following the 2014 coup that ousted the government of former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, which was supported by the Red Shirts.

Thaweep Netniyom, the chief secretary of Thailand’s National Security Council, said authorities were investigating whether Kochathamakun fled to Cambodia after the Lao government blocked his online broadcasts, according to an article published by The Nation yesterday.

“If there is strong evidence that he is there or broadcasting his programme from there we will ask the Cambodian authorities for cooperation,” Thaweep was quoted as saying.

Keo Vanthan, the deputy director general of the Interior Ministry’s general department of immigration, said by telephone yesterday that he was not aware of the case and referred questions to National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith, who could not be reached.

Kochathamakun has been charged under the Thailand’s lese majeste laws, and authorities have linked him to an assassination plot against officials following the seizure of weapons in Bangkok in March and also the bombing of a hospital in May. Kochathamakun has called the allegations “baseless”.

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