Closed door military trial for lese majeste accused

14 07 2011

The Bangkok Post says the “trial of the first military officer to ever be charged with lese majeste, Squadron Leader Chanin Klaiklung, began in the military court on Thursday morning.”

Interestingly, this is the longest Bangkok Post report regarding lese majeste that PPT can recall. We wonder why this is? Has the election result emboldened the media? Somehow we doubt it.

Sqn Ldr Chanin, of the directorate of  aeronautical engineering, was charged on 4 November 2010 with alleged crimes under the Computer Crimes Act and Article 112. As the Post puts it, he is “accused of behaviour deemed dangerous to national security.” His trial is behind closed doors. The Post states that usually “a military court case could also open to public attendance. But his was ordered secret undertakings.”

Chanin stated “I would like the hearing being open to the public otherwise the people will not know that they us[e] four different posts to accuse me.” A this point, Chanin is alleging that he has been set up: he told the Bangkok Post “that it was beyond his imagination that charges this serious were filed against him  based on cut-and-pasted messages from his Facebook pages.” He claims to have been referring to a “dictatorial father” in a television show, not any other dictatorial father.

Chanin’s retired policeman father agreed and said he and his wife were worried: “It might probably be easier if it was just a murder case since this is more serious. If the whole thing is not true, it’s very indecent to make such a story up…”. Lese majeste is more serious than murder in Thailand.

His next hearing is scheduled for 14 September. It seems he has been granted bail.

Of course, as the Post points out, the other lese majeste trial conducted in secret was that of Darunee Charnchoensilpakul. Her trial was ruled the a mistrial by the Constitutional Court in February, but she still languishes in jail.

Is this a case of torture by the state?

 


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