The judiciary and Somsak

7 03 2016

Readers will recall that late in February, the military dictatorship again moved against Somsak Jeamteerasakul, seeking to again investigate allegations of lese majeste. Somsak has been the subject of lese majeste complaints for years, with several of the complaints emanating from none other than The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

In something of a sideshow to that event, on 1 March, it was reported that the senior judge of the Administrative Court stated that “there were ‘extraordinary reasons’ that prevented historian Somsak … tending a proper resignation to Thammasat University in 2014, when he fled for France in the wake of the military takeover.”

The case is about the “university’s decision to fire Somsak instead of accepting his letter of resignation [which] meant he would be denied a pension and other benefits despite having taught there for more than 20 years.” In exile, Somsak “appointed a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against Thammasat, alleging he was dismissed unfairly.”

Unremarkable in the junta’s Thailand, Khaosod reports that a “ruling in [the] … wrongful termination suit … has been indefinitely postponed…”. Lawyers say the “court has placed its ruling on indefinite hold without explanation.”

In the land of the junta we guess no explanation is required as interference and political connivance with the judiciary is completely normal and expected by all.


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