Lese majeste appeal fails

6 03 2014

Former stockbroker Khatha Pachachirayapong (คทา ปาจริยพงษ์) was originally sentenced to 6 years reduced to 4 years jail for lese majeste-like offenses under the Computer Crimes Act. Khatha appealed and appears to have had the sentence reduced two 2 years and 8 months.

His case goes back to 14 October 2009 when there were a series of rumors that the king was seriously ill or had died. This caused a sell-off on the stock exchange in Bangkok. Immediately, the then Abhisit Vejjajiva-led coalition government began a search for those responsible for the rumors. At his original trial it was also stated that Khatha had posted on the relationship between Princess Sirindhorn and the People’s Alliance for Democracy.

Prachatai reports that the Appeal Court on Wednesday “found Katha guilty on two counts under the 2007 Computer Crimes Act, Article 14 (2) and 14 (3) which state that whoever import to a computer system of false computer data in a manner that is likely to damage the country’s security or cause a public panic and whoever import to a computer system of any computer data related with an offence against the Kingdom’s security under the Criminal Code, respectively.”

In late December 2012 the “Court of First Instance found Katha guilty on two counts under the 2007 Computer Crimes Act and sentenced him to 6 years in prison, but reduced the prison term to 4 years due to his guilty plea. Katha was granted bail with a guarantee of 500,000 baht in cash.”

Prachatai reports that in “July 2012, Katha submitted a petition to the Constitutional court to rule whether the Computer-Related Crime Act 2550, Article 14 (2) is an unclear law that provides an opportunity for officials to use an unlimited power of discretion. The Constitutional court ruled in Sept 2012 that Article 14 (2) of the Computer-Related Crime Act aims to protect national security and public order. This is consistent with the rule of law and assigns legal responsibility to individuals in a manner that is right and just to all parties.”


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