Anti-coup campaigner Suchart and lese majeste

10 11 2010

At Prachatai there ios a follow-up story on the case of Worawut Thanangkorn/Suchart Nakbangsai. He has been arrested on lese majeste charges since 1 November.

He has apparently told Prachachat Thurakij “that he would not fight his case in court, and expected to do time in jail and then seek leniency for an early release as in the cases of Suwicha Thakor and Bunyuen Prasertying.”

A member of the “anti-[2006] coup group called ‘Saturday People against Dictatorship’, which was formed by members of a political webboard…, the group gathered regularly at Sanam Luang on Saturdays to speak against the coup, and was among several other anti-coup groups which preceded the advent of the red shirts and the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).”

Police are holding him on remand. Suchart “told the newspaper that he had refused to give interviews to many reporters because he did not want to draw attention to his case.” He said: “I don’t want to be in the news. I don’t want publicity. I don’t want the media which may not understand my intent to report on me, because that would cause trouble to my family. So I think that this should be kept low-key, and end properly.” He added that he “would plead guilty in order to have his sentence commuted by half, and would do good [as a prisoner] to seek further commutation.”

He denied any association with red-shirt leaders, saying: “they did not accept me. I mean nothing to them. I fought for democracy, but not for elections.” He denied any links to Thaksin Shinawatra. In other words, he claimed to be a political loner, fighting for democracy.

Choosing to plead guilty has been made the only option on lese majeste. To do otherwise risks many, many years in jail.


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