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FFP found not guilty of opposing monarchy

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AFP

BANGKOK (Bangkok Post) – Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that key figures of the opposition Future Forward Party were not guilty of opposing the monarchy.

Televised images showed the verdict triggered celebrations at the party headquarters in the capital.

One of the claims in the petition before the court was that Future Forward’s logo evoked the secret Illuminati sect “believed to be behind the unseating of monarchies in Europe.” The term “Illuminati” traces back hundreds of years and has become a watchword for discredited conspiracy theories about secretive groups trying to control world affairs.

Future Forward denied the allegations, describing them as part of a crackdown on dissent by the royalist establishment after a disputed March election that ended five years of direct military rule.

The Illuminati case was filed against the Future Forward Party, leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul and party executives in July 2019 by Nathaporn Toprayoon, a former adviser to the Ombudsman.

Among the key evidence Nathaporn submitted to the court was a party regulation that does not use the standard phrase “democracy with the king as head of state”, but instead uses the words “democracy according to the constitution”.

Another piece of evidence was a party policy that would have Thailand ratify the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, a body that does not grant immunity to the head of state, which is against the Thai constitution.

The evidence also included the party’s logo, which he claimed resembled that of the Illuminati, a mythical organisation that conspiracy theorists believe pulls strings on behalf of shadowy forces all over the world.

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