Another lese majeste charge

16 10 2009

In an already big royal news day, Prachatai (16 October 2009: “Thai man arrested for sending lèse majesté clips to a British blogger in Spain”; ดีเอสไอทะลวงอ่านเมล ขยายผลจับผู้ต้องหาคดีหมิ่นฯ รายล่าสุด) that yet another Thai has been charged with lese majeste.

The report states that the “Criminal Court has agreed to a request by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to detain Nat Sattayapornpisut, 27, who has been charged under the 2007 Computer Crimes Act after he was found to have sent offensive clips to a blog called ‘StopLeseMajeste’.”

The report is that Nat was given an “initial detention for 12 days, from 15 – 26 Oct, for further investigation, as the DSI needed him to undergo a polygraph (lie-detector) test, and cooperate with investigators in sorting information on his computer seized by the authorities. The accused has been detained at the DSI office.”

The DSI began investigations on 29 August 2008 that led to YouTube clips and the arrest of Suwicha Thakor and the discovery of an alias StopLeseMajeste. The latter is reported to belong to “Emilio Esteban, a 46 year-old Briton living in Spain, who had been in contact with Suwicha via e-mail. Between 19 April 2008 and 15 September 2009, Esteban, who accessed the internet in Spain, published contents offensive to the throne on his weblogs, calling for abolition of the lèse majesté laws.” In searching Esteban’s e-mails [PPT: how did they do this?], they “found that on 21-23 July 2009 Nat had sent him three offensive clips which were posted on his blogs.”

Nat was arrested on 13 October and charged under the 2007 Computer Crimes Act.  He is said to have confessed to the charges.

These charges are interesting as the website includes, in addition to some of the most childish clips that appeared at YouTube about the king, clips involving the crown prince and his various consorts in compromising situations as well as other royals in similar situations. Some of the clips are real and have been surreptitiously circulated in Thailand, while others are concocted and silly.

Involving the crown prince, who has made it clear that he doesn’t want his private life exposed (think Harry Nicolaides) suggests that Nat can expect severe treatment by the courts.

Small update: For those of you searching for the website cited above as “StopLeseMajeste,” PPT believes this is incorrect. As far as we can tell, that is part of an email address provided at the website. We don’t want to list the web address here because doing that would surely get us blocked in Thailand. We also think that the site may be monitored for those linking from Thailand. So we are holding off for the moment.



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