Police arrested Krit Bootdeejean on 4 February 2015 in Petchabun and accused of lese majeste and computer crimes. On 19 October 2015, he was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on lese majeste and computer crimes. His sentence was halved for a guilty plea and the jail term suspended.
Initially, Krit was in detention and was refused a lawyer.
Police arrested the 26 year-old musician and alleged that he distributed a forged royal statement on the king’s health and the appointment of a regent. A team of military and police officers arrested Krit and seized a computer, a tablet computer, mobile phone and CDs they said included “red-shirt propaganda songs.”
Krit is reportedly a member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).
He was detained at the 11th Infantry Regiment in Bangkok pending further investigation into whether he produced the document or simply posted it on Twitter.
Police chief Somyos Pumpanmuang claimed that Krit confessed to receiving the document from a red-shirt associate and posted it online as he believed the announcement was new and wanted to share it with his online friends. He is said to have later removed the post after becoming suspicious about the document’s authenticity.
That sounds to us pretty much the same as the Manager/ASTV use of the document. PPT’s initial suspicions that this case is simply an attempt to fit up another red shirt appear to be correct although, belatedly, the police also sought to charge Niran Yaowapha, the head of Manager ASTV’s online section. Niran was later sentenced, receiving the same sentence as Krit.
Krit was handed over to the police, charged and remanded in prison. Initially refused bail, the military court granted bail on 17 February.
When he got to court, the sentencing came after Krit recanted his innocent plea and pleaded guilty.
Media accounts of Krit’s case:
Prachatai, 19 October 2015: “Red Shirt gets 30 months suspended jail term for posting fake royal statement”
Bangkok Post, 17 February 2015: “Royal forgery suspect released on bail”
Prachatai, 11 February 2015: “Military court grants bail to ASTV-Manager editor facing lèse majesté”
Khaosod, 10 February 2015: “Royal Forgery: Red Activist Jailed, Online Editor Released”
Bangkok Post, 7 February 2015: “ASTV webmaster arrest warrant approved”
Bangkok Post, 5 February 2015: “UDD lawyer denied access to Krit”
Bangkok Post, 4 February 2015: “Red-shirt musician held over fake royal document release”
Khaosod, 4 February 2015: “Thai Musician Arrested For Allegedly Forging Royal Statement”
Prachatai, 4 February 2015: “Man arrested for fake Royal Household’s statement“