Suchart Nakbangsai is an anti-2006 coup activist who was sentenced to three years in prison on 24 November 2010 for allegedly violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code. The police issued an arrest warrant claiming lèse majesté against him on 17 October 2008. According to the police, he was later arrested and bailed, but fled the country in January 2009 to avoid trial.
According to news reports, Suchart is one of 9 anti-coup activists investigated and recommended for prosecution for offending the monarchy.
He was arrested on 1 November 2010 and has been charged. The report states: “Suchart Nakbangsai or Worawut Thanangkorn, a member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), has been arrested for lese majeste, police said. Pol Lt-Col Akrawut Limrat, leader of a special operations unit of the Crime Suppression Division, said Mr Suchart, who is wanted under an arrest warrant dated Oct 17, 2008, was apprehended on Monday morning at the food centre on the sixth floor of the Platinum Fashion Mall department store on Phetchaburi road. Mr Suchart, 52, allegedly made remarks deemed offensive to the monarchy in his speech made on a UDD stage at Sanam Luang on Oct 14, 2008.”
Suchart is reported to have said: “I admitted it, want ‘no bail, no lawyer, no amnesty’.” This changed in later reports where he says he would not fight his case in court, expected to do time in jail and would “then seek leniency for an early release as in the cases of Suwicha Thakor and Bunyuen Prasertying.”
He was originally facing six years, for allegedly making comments which defamed the queen. But he confessed, and his sentence was therefore cut in half.
Suchart was due to be released on 23 August and finally walked free on 24 August 2012.
News on Suchart Nakbangsai’s case:
Prachatai,29 August 2012: “Two lèse majesté convicts released”
Huffington Post, 24 August 2012: “2 Thai prisoners pardoned for insulting monarchy”
Prachatai, 23 August 2012: “Release of two lèse majesté convicts today delayed”
Prachatai, 6 March 2012: “Surachai will ask PM to seek royal pardon for political prisoners”
Prachatati, 30 November 2010: “Warawut gets 3 years for lèse majesté”
TAN Network, 29 November 2010: “Court Sentences Red Shirt to 3 Yrs For Lese Majeste”
Prachatai, 29 November 2010: “ตัดสินจำคุก ‘สุชาติ นาคบางไทร’ 3 ปี ข้อหาหมิ่นสถาบัน”
Prachatai,10 November 2010: “Latest lèse majesté suspect will plead guilty and seek leniency”
Bangkok Post, 1 November 2010: “Red arrested for lese majeste”
The Nation, 16 January 2009: “Anti-coup activist flees abroad to elude lese majeste charge”
On Suchart’s earlier anti-coup activities see the mention of him in Prachatai, 9 July 2007: “Military Release the Anti-Coup leader After Condemnation from Civic Groups”