PPT thinks that the protesters who showed up at the Criminal Court on Wednesday to protest the further (deliberate) dragging out of the sentencing of Somyos Prueksakasemsuk on lese majeste charges deserve considerable praise.
These brave souls opposed to the lese majeste law and to the judicial system’s disgusting endeavors to punish Somyos as guilty from the very moment he was arrested on 30 April 2011. Since that arrest he has been refused bail nearly a dozen times, been dragged around the country in chains and cages, and had his trial delayed several times. They are opposing a justice system that operates unconstitutionally and illegally.
The Nation reports that 20 “opponents of the lese majeste law held a 112-minute vigil” at the court. They “wore black eye masks reading ‘release political prisoners’, while one placard read ‘justice delayed is justice denied’.”
The timing of the event coincided with the second day of the lese majeste trial of Surapak Phuchaisaeng, “the first such prisoner to be prosecuted and tried under the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.”
Surapak is reported as telling The Nation that:
it is “disgusting” that he has to wear shackles and prisoners’ garb even though no concrete evidence has been produced linking him to the Facebook page, which is still active even though he is in prison. His bail request has been denied about half a dozen times now.
“Think about it. This is Thailand! The justice process never protects the people, only the elite,” Surapak said as prosecution witness Pol Major Niti Inthurak, an officer at the Computer Crimes unit, told the court that it was not the police force’s job to trace the suspect’s IP address.
Surapak … said he had lost lots of job opportunities while in prison, adding that prosecutors would never be able to prove that he was linked to the Facebook account.
It sounds remarkably like another lese majeste stitch-up is under way. Not only is there no protection in this corrupt judicial system, but the courts are active in perverting the course of justice.
And as if to prove this point, The Nation also reports that People’s Alliance for Democracy leader Sondhi Limthongkul, convicted of libel against Thaksin Shinawatra lawyer Noppadon Pattama, went to the Court of Appeals and had his sentence reduced. Why did the politicized court do this? Apparently, due to “Sondhi’s old age and altruism as grounds for leniency, saying he did not seek self-serving gain by defaming legal adviser.” Of course, Sondhi was immediately granted bail of a paltry 100,000 baht to allow yet another appeal.
“Old age”? Sondhi is 64. PPT doesn’t recall any leniency for 62 year-old lese majeste convict Ampol Tangnopakul, not even when he was ill. Has there been any consideration of old age in the case of lese majeste convict Surachai Danwattananusorn, now 70 years old? Of course not. How about “altruism”? Most definitions suggest that “altruism is a motivation to provide something of value to a party who must be anyone but oneself…”. A quick read of his Wikipedia page, discussing Sondhi’s self-interested political and business flip-flops suggests anything but altruism as one of his motivations.
But he was attacking a political opponent aligned with Thaksin, so the royalist courts are simply and blatantly biased. The court appears to celebrate its double standards.