Many readers will have already read the comments by Professor Satit Phairoh at the 65th session of the Thai Bar Association on 8 June 2012,printed at Prachatai. His comments refer to Ampol Tangnopakul’s lese majeste and the continual failure to grant him bail. At the same time, it applies to almost all cases of this “crime.” PPT is not going to repeat it all; rather we highlight points we have made repeatedly. all of the following are the judge’s words, translated:
Article 39 of the Constitution says that everyone is presumed innocent. It is a general principle that when a person is innocent, bail must be granted….
In the case of Ah Kong, on the issue of bail, the court ruled … before there had been any investigation, at all. This indicates that the Court already believed that the accusation was true….
They guessed further….
The Court began by surmising that if the proof advanced was solid….
And if they surmised incorrectly…. This decision [not to grant bail] was based on a guess…. This conjecture had a disastrous effect for their defendant…. violated the Constitution….
At the end of the judgment, they [judges] wrote even more incorrectly…. Where in the law does it say that … you can convict on speculation? … This judgment will eternally stand and cannot be subjected to correction since Ah Kong is dead. This judgment will be eternally criticized because the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court have no chance to amend it…. Professor Nidhi Eoseewong has written that the Court acts arbitrarily. He is correct.
Indeed, he is correct. What’s worse is that this illegal treatment of those accused of lese majeste continues. The repeated demands for prisoners to plead guilty, drop appeals and seek royal pardons is all a part of the regime that supports the judiciary in acting illegally and inhumanely.
Update: On Ampol’s case, whose funeral is to be held on Sunday, Prachatai and several other sites have published copies of an unsigned letter that is said to have been released by one of Ampol’s lawyers, relating to expert advice from Germany on the identification of mobile phones. The gist of the advice sought is this:
The dtac SMS transaction records are not reliable in identifying a phone as the emitter of an SMS message. At least two possibilities exits where the data diverts from reality:
- SMS injected into the phone network from the Internet or SS7 network may be falsely linked to a “Location Update” message of somebody else’s phone
- Phone identities can be changed to the phone of somebody else in the same part of a city after observing a transaction of the other phone with the GSM network which requires only readily available hardware and software