Akechai released

16 11 2015

After serving his jail term for lese majeste, Akechai Hongkangwarn was released on 15 November. Prachatai reports that the release came four months ahead of his jail term of two years and eight months being completed.

Akechai pleaded innocent following his arrest, claiming that the documents he had from Wikileaks (see here, here, here, here and here) and the copies of the Australian ABC program on the monarchy were factual and not defamatory. He lost but fought his case all the way to the Supreme Court.

There’s some confusion on the reporting of his release and time served. We think it is correct that his release was four months early.

He’s a brave guy, telling Prachatai “that he still thinks that he is innocent.’ He stated: “I chose to fight because I feel that I have done nothing wrong.” He added:

There were hesitations, the Supreme Court took seven months to accept the case after the Appeal Court. At that time, [I] was discouraged, questioning why it took so long, and people were saying that next April pardons might be granted, so just give in. But eventually, I decided that as [I have] already fought this far then [I should] do it to the very end. People thought I was stupid.