Convicted of 112 a second time

16 03 2023

Clipped from Bangkok Post

Via Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Prachatai provides details on the latest conviction of Pornchai Wimolsupawong.

On 13 March 2023, Pornchai was found guilty of four counts of lese majeste, sedition, and violation of the Computer Crimes Act. The Chiang Mai Provincial Court found him guilty and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

Acting on a “complaint against him was filed by Jessada Thunkeaw, a former protest guard for the People’s Democratic Reform Committee,” the court found that the Facebook posts attributed to Pornchai “refer to King Vajiralongkorn using inappropriate language and contain false information, and also invited people to join illegal gatherings.” The Facebook posts made between 18 October and 19 November 2020.

Pornchai had been arrested on 10 March 2021 at his home in Nonthaburi on a warrant issued by the Chiang Mai Provincial Court. He was “denied bail and held in pre-trial detention at Chiang Mai Remand Prison for 44 days before being released on 22 April 2021.”

In his trial, Phonchai had claimed “that he did not make the posts, as his Facebook account was stolen at the time.” The court dismissed this, ruling that Pornchai “did not present evidence that this was true, and he would have pressed charges or tried to find the culprit if his account was stolen. Since he said the account was his, and there is a video clip of Phonchai introducing himself on the account, the Court believe[d] that he made the posts.”

Following his sentencing, his lawyer requested bail, but this was denied and he was removed to the Chiang Mai Remand Prison.

Pornchai was previously granted bail by the Yala Provincial Court, after he was found guilty of lese majeste and sentenced to three years in prison, reduced to 2 because he gave useful testimony. That court “also only found him guilty of a Facebook video he posted of himself talking about the pro-democracy protests in October 2020, and not for 2 other Facebook posts he said were made after his account was stolen, because evidence presented by the prosecution did not contain the posts’ URLs, and the inquiry officer testified that they were not sure if the images of the posts are accurate.”

We may be misunderstanding and misremembering but we think this is the first time we have seen a person face two cases on what seem to be the same charges.

Pornchai is also facing other charges from joining protests in Bangkok.



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