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Thai King’s Dog, Cited in Sedition Case, Dies

FILE - Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej poses with his favorite dog, Khun Thongdaeng, in a New Year's greeting card addressed to the Thai people, Dec. 7, 2005.

The dog at the center of insult and sedition charges against a Thai factory worker has died.

The head of the veterinary school at Kasetsart University said in a statement late Monday that King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s dog, Tongdaeng, died Saturday after having several illnesses in recent years.

The king rescued the dog from an alley, wrote and illustrated a book about her in 2002 and an animated film about her was released this year.

Earlier this month, a Thai military court charged Thanakorn Siripaiboon with making a “sarcastic” Internet post involving the dog. The court did not reveal what exactly the post said, and also charged Thanakorn with sedition and insulting the king.

Thailand’s strict sedition laws make it a crime to insult the monarchy.

Lèse-majesté (injured majesty) convictions have surged since Thailand’s junta seized power. One man was jailed this year for 30 years for insulting the monarchy on Facebook.

In another Facebook case, a 49-year-old accountant recently received 19 years in prison for posting an image of a military tank with a message saying a counter-coup was on its way.