German government warns of ‘consequences’ if Thai king breaks law

“We have not only been looking into that in recent weeks, but on a regular basis,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said at a news conference. “If there are things we consider to be illegal, that will have immediate consequences.”

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Germany warned of “immediate consequences” if Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn broke the law on its soil as thousands of protesters gathered outside its embassy in Bangkok on Monday, stepping up the pressure in their campaign for changes to the monarchy.

The demonstrators submitted a letter questioning the king’s legal status in the European country and requesting Germany to probe whether he has exercised royal authority during his time there in violation of the country’s law. The petition is meant to help Thailand return “to the path of truthful constitutional monarchy,” according to a joint statement issued by protest organizers.

“We have not only been looking into that in recent weeks, but on a regular basis,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said at a news conference. “If there are things we consider to be illegal, that will have immediate consequences.”The king, who is currently in Bangkok, spends much of his time in Germany. Calls to the Bureau of the Royal Household seeking comments went unanswered.The march came as lawmakers began a debate on the pro-democracy demonstrations that pose a challenge to the royalist elite that has run Thailand for much of its history. The protesters want Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha to resign, changes to a constitution written after a 2014 coup and greater accountability and transparency for the monarchy — the most powerful institution in the country.

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