AFP reports on two court cases of interest, affecting Sondhi Limthongkul and Jatuporn Promphan.
The first report is about a long-standing lese majeste case against Sondhi. The failed media mogul and one of the leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy “appeared in court on Tuesday accused of insulting the revered monarchy by quoting a member of the rival Red Shirts.”
There’s that boring and unnecessary repetition of “revered” again. It isn’t true, but the agencies feel the pressure to state it again and again and again. There’s also the “demi-god” nonsense mentioned later in the report.
The red shirt mentioned in this case is Darunee Charnchoensilpakul. She’s already serving 15 years, having been sentenced first in August 2009 and again in December 2011. She’s been in jail since July 2008. Sondhi has been free after being charged with repeating her “protest speech … in 2008.”
Sondhi’s lawyer “told the court on Tuesday that Sondhi had aimed to highlight Daranee’s comments in the hope that police would take legal action against her.” In other words, he was being a political snitch. The lawyer added: “He did not repeat all the words said by Da…”. Sondhi is not expected to testify until August.
Sondhi’s charge, like all others, is ludicrous.
In February 2012, Sondhi was sentenced to 20 years in prison for corporate fraud in the 1990s. He’s on bail, appealing.
The second report is about red shirt leader Jatuporn, who was sentenced on Tuesday and “given a suspended jail term for slander over claims he accused the former premier of sitting incorrectly during an audience with [the]… king.” He was accused of slandering then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in 2009.
The case is suggestive of the complete political nuttiness associated with the monarchy. Using the monarchy for political advantage is usually the preserve of ultra-royalists like Sondhi and his lot.
PPT imagines Jatuporn tried to turn the tables on the royalist Abhisit. But insulting a royalist for not being royalist enough when he sat “on a chair of an equal height to one being used by King Bhumibol Adulyadej.” That such a claim should even carry weight shows the stupidity associated with the monarchy.
The court found “the defendant did not honestly criticise the plaintiff…” and that “his comments had ‘political motivation’.”
It seems ridiculous that “Abhisit successfully argued that since the chair had been provided by the royal household, his sitting on it could not be seen as a mark of disrespect.”
That Abhisit took this claim to court is probably explained by his hatred of Jatuporn and red shirts. It probably also reflects his Eton-Oxford elitist mentality of keeping the lower lot in their place.