Chiranuch’s lese majeste trial resumes

1 09 2011

The Bangkok Post reports on the resumption of Chiranuch Premchaiporn‘s lese majeste and computer crimes trial that began back in February. The story begins:

The trial of independent media icon Chiranuch Premchaiporn on charges brought under the Computer Crimes Act was to begin on Thursday morning amid international academia concern over the ambiguous position of the new government on the controversial use of lese majeste laws.

Witnesses for the prosecution are due in court in a series of hearings which have resumed today after half a year’s pause. They will appear in turn at the Ratchada Criminal Court on September 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 20 and 21, while witnesses for the defence are to appear on October 11, 12, 13 and 14.

Chiranuch’s trial is expected to garner plenty of international attention and throw a spotlight on the absurdity of lese majeste in Thailand. The Post account has an account of recent lese majeste actions by the previous government and that of Yingluck Shinawatra.

FACT has an account of the first day of the trial in this new round of hearings and Day 6 of the trial and notes that:

The morning hearing was held in one of the smallest courtrooms with a standing-room capacity crowd of around 50 supporters from local and int’l NGOs, media and diplomats from several Western embassies.

It is worth reading the whole account that includes these vignettes, apparently from a new judge on the case:

The plain-speaking judge’s first statement was that this case was really ‘no big deal’—“ คดีไม่ใช่เรื่องใหญ่โต”!

The judge’s final comment to the day’s testimony was, again, in his opinion, ‘this case is nothing’ and ‘the defendant was not at fault’.

In a gloomy situation for lese majeste under the Yingluck Shinawatra government, at least these reported comments promise some hope on this one case.


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