Lese majeste farce continues

13 06 2015

In an earlier post on Montri Sotangkul‘s fate, caught up in the future monarch’s purge of the royal household staff considered close to former wife Srirasmi, we predicted that, like the other couple of dozen similarly purged, Montri will plead guilty in order to avoid a lengthy trial and will get 4-5 years, reduced by half for the guilty plea.Montri - Copy

By late on 12 June 2015, Montri had moved down this path. At Khaosod it is reported that the “former chamberlain to ex-princess Srirasmi,” confessed that he had “exploited his position as a senior official in the Royal Household Bureau to win seats on the executive boards of several state enterprises, and to secure the rights to buy and sell land in Bangkok.” Montri told reporters: “I have indeed committed the wrongdoing…. I confess to all charges. Now I feel repentant. I regret what I have done.”

Montri, who has no lawyer, will now complete the walk down the now well-worn path to jail time in record time. This process is now a modern ritual of succession. In the Ayudhya period of Thai history, these people would have been executed.

As part of the royal ritual, the compliant police, demonstrating their loyalty to the throne, engaged in a farcical ritual of their own by re-enacting the “crimes.” These police re-enactments are usually peculiar in themselves but this one was even more ridiculous than usual. Astoundingly, Montri was taken to the offices of both PTT, the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Technology and CAT Telecom to point at chairs in meeting rooms. This ridiculousness was apparently meant to be a “crime reenactment.” As Khaosod put it, “[a]t each building Montri pointed to the seats in the meeting rooms where he allegedly pressured officials into appointing him as an executive board member.”

The police sent along their top brass for a photo opportunity.

The police stated that “Montri will be held at an undisclosed location – and not Bangkok Remand Prison – while he awaits trial ‘for the sake of safety of the suspect’.” This is part of the secret deal for the guilty plea and the quick trial that will soon come, as early as next week.

Montri’s assets are likely to be frozen or seized.

Police General Somyos Pumpanmuang “told reporters that former Princess Srirasmi personally appointed Montri to her entourage, and that the Crown Prince was not involved in her decision.” Of course, this must be true in maintaining the palace farce.


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