Montri Sotangkul

Montri - CopyMontri Sotangkul, aged 53, and a senior palace official of the Royal Household Bureau, was charged with lese majeste and other offenses on 11 June 2015.

He stands accused of lese majeste because he allegedly claimed that he was close to members of the royal family – presumably Prince Vajiralongkorn and then Princess Srirasmi – to make personal profit in land and business deals. Police claimed that Montri had absolutely nothing at all to do with the prince and was only associated with Srirasmi.

Police announced their case against Montri on 10 June. Montri is the latest relative or associate of Srirasmi to be arrested in a case of palace intrigue that has seen at least eight of her relatives jailed, including her elderly parents. PPT counts some 30 persons seem to be doing jail time for lese majeste based on the prince’s disposal of his third wife.

It is reported that Montri continued to work at the palace after Srirasmi’s downfall in December 2014, suggesting he wasn’t simply one of her people.

Montri arrived at police headquarters handcuffed and dressed in civilian clothes, after palace officials handed him over to the police. He reportedly acknowledged the charges against him, including Article 112 and Articles 148, 149, and 157 of the Criminal Code and Article 123 and 123/1 of the 2009 Anti-Corruption Act.

As usual, the police opposed bail “because Montri was considered a flight risk…”. That’s “normal” procedure, and if things go as they have for the other couple of dozen, we can expect that Montri will plead guilty in order to avoid a lengthy trial and will get 4-5 years, reduced by half for the guilty plea.

By late on 12 June 2015, Montri, without a lawyer, had already moved along the predicted pathway. He had engaged in a farcical police charade that “re-enacted” the alleged crimes and admitted his guilt. He was remanded by the court and held in a secret place, awaiting the rest of the script to play out.

Media accounts of Montri’s case:

See details of other cases associated with the Vajiralongkorn-Srirasmi separation via our page on Pongpat Chayapan.

Khaosod, 15 June 2015: “Disgraced Palace Official Faces Death Penalty, Police Say

Khaosod, 12 June 2015: “Former Assistant of Fallen Thai Princess Confesses to Defaming Monarchy

Bangkok Post, 12 June 2015: “Court extends former royal chamberlain’s detention

Southeast Asia Post, 11 June 2015: “Thai palace official arrested for abusing authority, defaming monarchy

AFP, 11 June 2015: “Senior palace official Montri Sotangkul from Thailand arrested for lese majeste

AP, 10 June 2015: “Thai palace official arrested for lese majeste charges

Prachatai, 10 June 2015: “Police to arrest high ranking palace officer under lese majeste law

AFP, 10 June 2015: “Thai police seek royal official on lese majeste charges

4 responses

13 06 2015
Lese majeste farce continues | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] an earlier post on Montri Sotangkul‘s fate, caught up in the future monarch’s purge of the royal household staff considered […]

13 06 2015
Lese majeste farce continues | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] an earlier post on Montri Sotangkul‘s fate, caught up in the future monarch’s purge of the royal household staff considered […]

19 10 2015
More household cleansing | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] palace and relationships with the prince’s household (amongst all the posts at the time, see here, here, here, here, there, here and also […]

19 10 2015
More household cleansing | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] palace and relationships with the prince’s household (amongst all the posts at the time, see here, here, here, here, there, here and also […]