There are two other items of lese majeste news that have perhaps been missed on a day when the news has been dominated by the death of lese majeste victim Ampol Tangnopakul.
The first relates to Joe Gordon. At msnbc.com, there is a story that U.S. citizen Joe is being considered for royal pardon, with the Ministry of Justice having approved a petition for a pardon and has been forwarded it to the Royal Household Bureau. Joe will have been in jail for a full year on 25 May.
PPT can only marvel at how this news emerged on exactly the same day that Ampol passed away while in custody, awaiting news of his own pardon petition to the king. To add to the coincidence notion, is it also significant that these two pieces of news come out on the very day that it is reported that the king is to make his first provincial trip – to Ayutthaya – since his hospitalization more than two years ago?
The second story relates to a lese majeste charge against Puea Thai Party member and red shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan. The report emerges from a dispute in the Puea Thai Party over a potential ministerial appointment for Jatuporn.
Fellow Puea Thai member Chalong Riewraeng said:
Jatuporn should not be made a Cabinet member. He faces lese majeste charges and a court verdict on the case is expected in a month. If he is not found guilty, then it won’t be too late to make him a minister….
PPT assumes that this refers to the 2011 charge brought against Jatuporn by Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Chalong seems to have made this point in an effort to damage Jatuporn and the Yingluck Shinawatra government as he added that “Prime Minister Yingluck … might feel uneasy about having to answer questions about why she appointed a man involved in the 2010 unrest and the ‘burning of the city’ to her Cabinet.” PPT has no idea how he knows about the lese majeste case, but if true, combined with other news, a court appearance by Jatuporn would spark considerable interest.