Somyos and judicial incompetence

15 02 2012

As readers who have been following the lese majeste trial of  Somyos Prueksakasemsuk will know that he was due to appear shackled and chained in a Songkhla court on 13 February.

We apologize for being slow in posting this, as news has already appeared at Prachatai, and PPT was informed a day ago.

Somyos’ trial has been postponed due to the absence of the  key prosecution witness. The trial  will resume on 18 April 2012.

In fact, the prosecution’s witness didn’t show up because the witness refused to travel south to Songkhla, making a complete nonsense of the state’s ridiculous claims that Somyos needs to appear in multiple provincial courts.

Somyos had been moved to the Songkhla Provincial Prison on 8 February, after having earlier been relocated to Sakaew, Phetchabun and Nakhon Sawan for earlier hearings of prosecution witnesses.  The long trip to Songkhla too 12 hours in the back of a baking hot detention vehicle. Now he will be returned to Bangkok the same way.

What makes the postponement worse is the fact that the courts had repeatedly refused request by defense lawyers for the trial to be conducted in Bangkok. Their actions are now a laughing stock, showing that the process is little more than an exercise in punishing Somyos for refusing to plead guilty to the politicized charge of lese majeste.

The only good news (if that is the term) in this shamozzle  is that the trial will resume in Bangkok.

Lawyers, family members, supporters and international  observers all  expressed frustration and disappointment with the prosecution’s incompetence.

This political prisoner must be bailed as soon as possible to prevent further persecution by state prosecutors and the judiciary.

More details here and in video reports here and here.


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22 02 2012



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