Police Major Prakrom Warunprapa, lese-majeste suspect (C) is escorted by police officer as he arrives at military court in Bangkok, Thailand, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
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Thai police Wednesday widened a major probe into a network of people charged with insulting the monarchy, which has seen three people charged and eight police officers demoted so far.Altogether, police are investigating 13 cases dating back to August, said Central Investigation Bureau commissioner Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak, adding that more arrest warrants would be issued.Thailand's 87-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej is seen as semi-divine by many Thais, but this view is hard to challenge when law can make anything deemed an insult or threat to the monarchy punishable by up to 15 years in jail.In the latest probe, the three men were charged last week with allegedly falsely claiming ties to the monarchy.The military regime that ousted an elected civilian government last year has declared that defense of the monarchy is its priority, and it has vigorously pursued prosecutions under the law, trying such cases in military courts.
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