Chronic mental illness no bar to lese majeste trial

14 02 2016

Prachatai and iLaw have details on the lese majeste case facing Bundith Arniya or Jerseng Sae Kow. Bundith has faced several lese majeste cases over several years. In the latest case, a seeming statement of fact is made a crime. The case filed by the prosecutor states that Bundith uttered these words in March 2015:

“My point is now Thai people are separated into two sides: one which is in favour of a monarchy which does not abide by the law, as the head of the state, …”

It is added that he “was arrested by the police before he could even finish the sentence.”

A couple of months ago, a military court, which had been hearing a case against Bundith, decided to seek expert testimony from a psychiatrist on the 75 year-old’s capacity to stand trial.

On 11 February 2016, a psychiatrist from the Galya Rajanagarindra Institute testified that Bundith “suffers from chronic mental illness which causes him to have anxiety, strange logic, and behave in bizarre ways.”

That seems clear enough.

But despite this clear statement, “the doctor said that Bundit can still continue to stand on trial. Therefore, the Military Court ruled to proceed with the trial.”

In an unusual decision, Bundith was released on 400,000 baht bail “due to his age and poor health.”

There are no limits on the bastardry associated with lese majeste cases.


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