BANGKOK — Police on Friday said they needed time to collect more evidence before deciding whether to press royal defamation charge against a man seen insulting His Majesty the King and Thai people in a viral video.
Col. Netiwong Kularb of Crime Suppression Division said the case requires careful deliberation. A group of monarchy supporters filed complaint of royal insult, or lese majeste, against Rachata Wangkitcharoengsuk on Thursday over the remark, which struck many as offensive.
“It’s a sensitive matter,” Col. Netiwong said. He did not mention when the decision would be made.
Rachata, 24, became a social media hate figure after a video of him yelling slurs at a fellow motorist went viral earlier this week. Among his insults include references to the Thai monarch, the Prime Minister, and Thai people in general.
“I insult all Thai people. Even the king!” said Rachata, who identified himself as a graduate from overseas. “I hate Thailand. I shouldn’t have come back at all. It’s full of low-class people here.”
His comments drew a protest of several hundred people to a police station in Nakhon Pathom province where he was summoned for questioning. The crowd shouted abuse and threats of violence at Rachata, but eventually dispersed without incident.
Rachata himself apologized for his actions, and his family said he sometimes behaved erratically due to depression.
He was also charged with defamation and physical assault for the encounter with the motorist. However, police have postponed bringing the case against him to the court, citing the need for more questioning.