PPT’s record of lese majeste cases is not always as complete as it should be. Although we try to keep up, we are hampered by inconsistent reporting, although, again, we have to give great credit to Prachatai, which does try to follow the cases and to iLaw, which tries to document them. Governments pursuing lese majeste cases don’t always advertise this and some cases are heard in secret. Cases in provincial courts seldom get mentioned.
So we are unsure if we have an accurate recording of lese majeste cases that have involved Thong Daeng, the now dead bitch that was the aged king’s favorite mutt, and which was added into the mix of ludicrous royalist adulation of the monarch and which the king decided to boost with the nonsensical notion that the royal fleabag should be some kind of model for the citizenry.
Our list of lese majeste cases involving the now deceased dog is three. Khaosod mentioned a case against Bundith Arniya who it states was convicted for “writing allegorically about a dog the court deemed a reference to Tong Daeng intended to defame the king.” There was also a report of businessman Praphat Darasawang for defaming the king on Facebook when he disagreed on Facebook with the king’s comparison of his dog to people. We have no further news on either case.
And, of course, there is the case of Thanakorn Siripaiboon who has been accused and will likely be charged with violating the lese majeste law by spreading “sarcastic” content via Facebook which allegedly mocked Thong Daeng while the royal tailwagger.
Prosecutors stated that on 6 December 2015 Thanakorn copied three images from Twitter and spread it on his Facebook page. The royalist bloodhounds said the images contained “sarcastic” content about the royal mongrel.
Thanakorn also faces another charge of lese majeste for clicking “Like” on a doctored image of the king on Facebook and a charge of sedition for sharing an infographic detailing alleged corruption behind the construction of the scandal-plagued Rajabhakti/Corruption Park.
Prachatai reports that a military court “has again denied bail to a lèse majesté suspect accused of mocking the King’s dog while the suspect’s defence lawyer maintains that the case does not fall under the lèse majesté law.”
Of course, no dead dog is covered by the law. But under the military dictatorship and under the royalist judiciary – military or otherwise – any interpretation of the law is possible for dead kings, ancient kings, dynasties and pet pooches. The result of this interpretation – and we use the term loosely because the law is actually very clear – is not only political but it is nonsensical and crosses the line into psychosis, where judges and those standing behind them have lost touch with reality and exhibit personality changes and thought disorder based on their perception that they are protecting the monarchy. Hence the courts and those promoting the use of lese majeste exhibit bizarre behavior, and experience difficulty with social interactions (say, with the media).
Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) report that on 11 February 2016, the military court denied bail and, for a sixth time, extended Thanakorn’s pre-trial detention. The police say they haven’t finished their investigations and are “now gathering forensic computer evidence…”.
Thanakorn’s lawyer made several representations: “that prolonging the detention of the suspect violates human rights since the accusations against Thanakorn are disproportionate to his actions and the investigation of the case is taking too long;” that he should not have been charged under Article 112 as the law is clear that no dead dog is covered by it; and that Thanakorn “should not have been charged under Article 116, the sedition law, for posting an infographic on the Rajabhakti park corruption scandal.”
As is expected in these increasingly bizarre lese majeste cases, the military court dismissed all representations.
Thanakorn was taken into custody at his house in Samut Prakan Province on 8 December 2015. Military and police officers invoked Article 44 on national security to enable them to arrest him, a completely unnecessary ruse when it comes to the lawlessness that prevails in lese majeste cases.