Sudathip Muangnual

SudathipSudathip Muangnual was charged with lese majeste on 10 December 2014. She was convicted and sentenced on 2 February 2015.

Sudathip, the wife of Police Colonel Kowit Muangnual, a former Samut Sakhon Immigration Police chief, who is allegedly part of a criminal network led by former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan, Princess Srirasmi’s uncle. When she was convicted, Khaosod reported that she was the “sister-in-law of Thailand’s Crown Prince.”

Sudathip was first arrested late in November, but was not charged with lese majeste and was released on bail on 24 November.

With “new evidence,” it is reported that police stormed a house and detained Ms Sudathip for questioning. She is accused of citing the monarchy – probably the prince and princess – to help her win a contract to supply food to an unnamed “establishment.” People affected by Sudathip’s alleged misconduct lodged complaints with Sam Sen police station.

A later report revealed that the “establishment” was, in fact, the prince’s household. It was stated that Royal Household Bureau filed the complaint against her, with court documents stating that Sudathip won the contract to supply the prince’s palace kitchen with chili paste that costs 300 baht per kilogram, claimed to be double the average market price and “boiled cabbage that costs 90 baht per kilogram…”. The Royal Household Bureau stated that Sudathip won the contract to supply the palace with food products by using her connections to the royal family to pressure other competitors to drop out of contract bid.

It seems lese majeste can now be used to resolve disputes with suppliers. Yet it is the failed relationship between the prince and his wife that caused the charge to be laid.

Sudathip was denied bail.

On 2 February 2015, the court found Sudathip guilty and sentenced her to five years, reduced to two and a half years in prison because she pleaded guilty.

The court brief stated:

The remarks of the defendant were slanderous, laying false claims to and insulting the monarchy…. She violated, made false accusations toward, and caused damages to the Royal Majesty.

This is nonsensical stuff, but protecting “majesty”also involves assisting the prince ditch a third wife. Some in the palace will be pleased, but this verdict is just another nail in the majesty coffin.

PPT thinks there may be 10-12 lese majeste cases emanating from the seemingly family-based purge of persons associated with Prince Vajiralongkorn’s estranged wife and her family, relatives and associated hangers-on.

Media accounts of Sudathip’s case:

For a range of media stories, see Pongpat Chayapan’s page.

Khaosod, 2 February 2015: “Sister of Former Princess Jailed for Insulting Monarchy

Bangkok Post, 28 December 2014: “Pongpat charges ready for prosecutors

Khaosod, 14 December 2014: “Police Expand Investigation Over ‘Lese Majeste Foodstuff Conspiracy’

Bangkok Post, 11 December 2014: “Court rejects Sudathip’s bail

Bangkok Post, 11 December 2014: “Pongpat cohort hauled in

Bangkok Post, 10 December 2014: “Sudathip arrested on lese majeste charge

14 responses

15 12 2014
The palace, lese majeste and the prince’s business | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] few days ago PPT commented on a new lese majeste case against Sudathip Muangnual. In that post it was stated that Sudathip was first arrested late in November, but was not charged […]

15 12 2014
The palace, lese majeste and the prince’s business | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] few days ago PPT commented on a new lese majeste case against Sudathip Muangnual. In that post it was stated that Sudathip was first arrested late in November, but was not charged […]

23 12 2014
The most significant “crime” | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] is diabolical nonsense as even a recent case shows, where the Royal Household Bureau has used the draconian lese majeste law to file a complaint […]

24 12 2014
The antique collectors | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] million in Buddhist relics, statuary, jewels and cash…”. This had always seemed odd, along with the lese majeste charge for price gouging chilli products. As Asia Sentinel points out, “it was uncharacteristic of top policemen to collect such […]

24 12 2014
The antique collectors | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] of US$300 million in Buddhist relics, statuary, jewels and cash…”. This had always seemed odd, along with the lese majeste charge for price gouging chilli products. As Asia Sentinel points out, “it was uncharacteristic of top policemen to collect such precious […]

28 12 2014
The prince’s lese majeste cases | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Phakphoom, Nopporn Suppipat, Nuttapong Suwadee (former Princess Srirasmi’s brother) and Sudathip Muangnual. This does not include Chainarin Nopchaloemroj and 13 others who seem involved in a related […]

28 12 2014
Lese majeste witch-hunts | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] His Majesty can’t defend himself, we have to take care of him…”. We indicated that several recent cases show that there has been direct involvement of the palace in using the law. Our last post showed how the use […]

28 12 2014
Lese majeste witch-hunts | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] His Majesty can’t defend himself, we have to take care of him…”. We indicated that several recent cases show that there has been direct involvement of the palace in using the law. Our last post showed how the use […]

28 01 2015
Lese majeste, fraud and business deals | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] cases, there seemed to be accusations of fraudulent behavior that resulted in a charge (see here as one […]

28 01 2015
Lese majeste, fraud and business deals | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] cases, there seemed to be accusations of fraudulent behavior that resulted in a charge (see here as one […]

2 02 2015
Jailed for palace chilli fraud and the wrong connection | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Sudathip Muangnual was charged with lese majeste on 10 December 2014. She was convicted and sentenced on 2 February 2015 and sentenced to 5 years, reduced to 2.5 for a guilty plea. […]

2 02 2015
Jailed for palace chilli fraud and the wrong connection | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Sudathip Muangnual was charged with lese majeste on 10 December 2014. She was convicted and sentenced on 2 February 2015 and sentenced to 5 years, reduced to 2.5 for a guilty plea. […]

19 12 2015
Monarchy, slaves and dogs | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Let’s stick with this word, absurd. As a noun it the “the quality or condition of existing in a meaningless and irrational world.” As an adjective, it refers to the “utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue; contrary to all reason or common sense; laughably foolish or false.” While the dog absurdity may make the absurdity of lese majeste more absurd, all lese majeste cases are absurd. Recall the woman sentenced for pricing goods sold to the palace for higher than market prices. […]

19 12 2015
Monarchy, slaves and dogs | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Let’s stick with this word, absurd. As a noun it the “the quality or condition of existing in a meaningless and irrational world.” As an adjective, it refers to the “utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue; contrary to all reason or common sense; laughably foolish or false.” While the dog absurdity may make the absurdity of lese majeste more absurd, all lese majeste cases are absurd. Recall the woman sentenced for pricing goods sold to the palace for higher than market prices. […]