Western diplomats deny Thai accusation of protocol breach

Western diplomatic missions have responded to charges from Thailand's foreign ministry that they violated protocol by observing a Thai politician being charged by police with sedition, calling the action standard diplomatic practice.

They were responding Wednesday to Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, who said foreign countries are barred from closely observing such internal procedures "not only by etiquette, but also by rules and regulations that the whole world abides by."

Thirteen foreign diplomats were present Saturday at a Bangkok police station where Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of a popular new political party, acknowledged charges of sedition and other crimes. Thanathorn says the charges are politically motivated.

Thanathorn's Future Forward Party ran a strong third in last month's general election and positions itself as being opposed to political interference by Thailand's powerful military.