Sirindhorn 4 lese majeste case continues

27 09 2017

PPT worked on this post some time ago. However, unnoticed until now, it became hung up between a draft and a finished post. We have finally “rescued” it.

Prachatai reports that a “court has detained a suspect accused of royal defamation further although there is no apparent evidence linking him to the a group of people accused of defaming Princess Sirindhorn.”

This case refers to a group we have called the Sirindhorn 4. The case became known from about 20 August 2015, when the Kamphaeng Phet provincial court issued arrest warrants for Kittiphop Sitthirat, 23, Atsadaphon Sitthirat, 45, and Wiset Phutthasa, 30, on lese majeste accusations. Later, a fourth name was added, Noppharit (surname not known), 28.

According to Prachatai, on 18 September 2017, the Kamphaeng Phet Provincial Court began the trial of four persons accused of Article 112 offenses or lese majeste.

They are accused of forging “documents from the Secretariat Office of Princess Sirindhorn promising the Princess’ presence at a religious event in April 2015 at Wat Sai Ngam Buddhist Monastery in Kamphaeng Phet Province, provided the temple paid them 100,000 baht.”

Few would find such a claim odd as, for example, every university student participating in a graduation ceremony pays for the “privilege” of having a royal hand out the diploma. The royal gets the loot.

In the case in court, “[o]nly two of the accused, Atsadaphon and and Noppharit … are still fighting the case because the two others have pleaded guilty.”

According to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), Noppharit is not pleading guilty because he denies involvement and claims he does not know the other defendants. TLHR states that “all the witnesses who were present at the religious event testified that they did not know the suspect prior to the event.”

Noppharit maintains “that he is innocent and only participated in the event because he was invited to make merit at the temple by Wiset, one of the two suspects who pleaded guilty.”

On his arrest he says: “I was shocked and surprised because I didn’t know anything. Suddenly the arrest warrant arrived and [I was] confused and surprised when read the charge…”.

All four suspects have been detained since their arrest and the court has repeatedly denied them bail.

In addition, “Noppharit … submitted a request to the court and the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to reconsider whether the charge of making false claims about Princess Sirindhorn falls under Article 112.”

Of course, his lawyers are correct as the law does not apply to her. But, true to form, the court and the Office of the Attorney General reinterpreted law as if the written words do not convey real meaning: the court “rejected the requests while the AGO confirmed the decision of the  Kamphaeng Phet prosecutor to indict him.”

As we have said previously, when it comes to lese majeste, the actual law hardly matters.


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1 10 2017
Updated: Double standards and lawlessness in the justice system | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] charged with lese majeste against royals, dead and alive, who are simply not covered by the law. The most recent case of this legal ridiculousness was just last month where courts and the Office of the Attorney […]

1 10 2017
Updated: Double standards and lawlessness in the justice system | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] charged with lese majeste against royals, dead and alive, who are simply not covered by the law. The most recent case of this legal ridiculousness was just last month where courts and the Office of the Attorney […]




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