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Thailand PM sues leading critic for defamation

[JURIST] Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile] has sued anti-government activist Sondhi Limthongkul [Wikipedia backgrounder] and 11 others for defamation and $26 million in damages, according to Thaksin's lawyer Monday. Thaksin sued Sondhi and the state-run Communications Authority of Thailand for allegedly saying on television that Thaksin and his Thai Rak Thai party [party website, in Thai] tried to undermine Thailand's monarchy. Sondhi leads the People's Alliance for Democracy [Wikipedia backgrounder], which led street protests earlier this year that forced Thaksin to temporarily step aside.

The lawsuit joins several defamation lawsuits [JURIST report] filed by Thaksin against organizers of the street protests. Thaksin sued Thailand's main opposition Democrat Party [party website, in Thai] in June for accusing Thaksin of tax evasion. Thaksin has consistently denied allegations that he and several political parties acted "against democratic rule" during April's annulled parliamentary elections [JURIST reports]. AFP has more.

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