Fourth royal health rumor suspect arrested

18 11 2009

The Democrat Party-led government continues to pursue cases that would seem bizarre in most parts of the world and which damages the government and the country’s credibility, even when they are busy squabbling with Cambodia and waging “war” against Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Nation (18 November 2009: “Four suspect arrested”) gets its spelling wrong but does report on the arrest of a fourth suspect in the spreading-inauspicious-rumors-about-the-king’s-health case. It says that “Police on Wednesday arrested a 42-year-old female doctor…”.

Dr. Thatsaporn Rattanawongsa was arrested when police “raided Thon Buri Hospital and arrested Dr Thatsaporn as she was waiting to start her shift in the hospital.” They then searched “her residence in Sapan Kwai area to search for more evidence.” The police allege that she “joined three other suspects who were arrested earlier in spreading the false information about HM the King’s health.”

Like the other three suspects, she will be charged with “violating Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Offence Act covering the posting of false computerised information that causes harm to national security and the general public.They could face up to five years in prison if convicted.”

PPT assumes that the aim of this witch hunt continues to be to pin something negative related to the monarchy on the red shirts and/or Thaksin.

Update 1: Reuters (18 November 2009) now carries a report without naming the arrested woman. It is stated that the police say that the “42-year-old doctor confessed to posting a message on an unidentified website after her arrest at the private Bangkok hospital where she worked…”. Police continue to question her and “are looking at her appointments on her laptop for more evidence….”.

The police state that they “are investigating whether she collaborated with others accused of spreading rumours about the king on Prachatai, a website that lists press freedom as one of its main objectives and is popular with some anti-government activists.”

Interesting to see Prachatai specified when the line before says “unidentified website.” The political nature of the case continues to be emphasized.

Reuters also mentions the fact that the king remains in hospital for 2 months, with repeated statements that he is improving. As the report points out, “Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told Reuters on Nov. 7 that the king had recovered from his illness and would soon be discharged from hospital.” PPT suspects that as this was an auspicious rumor that Abhisit won’t be investigated.

Update 2: The Bangkok Post has a report here.

Update 3: The Nation (19 November 2009) reports that she has been bailed. Also includes a police statement that Thassaporn “admitted posting the inaccurate information about His Majesty’s health but she said did it without any harm intention.”



2 responses

21 11 2009
New: AHRC and RWB on computer crimes as lese majeste « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] mention five cases: the royals health rumors scapegoats Thatsaporn Rattanawongsa (arrested just a couple of days ago), Thiranan Vipuchanun, Khatha Pachachirayapong and Somjet […]

21 09 2010
The other anniversary « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] problem and is just one more area where there is no transparency related to the monarchy. Even a rumor of the king’s demise leads to a hunt for the rumor […]

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