While jailed by the junta, the activist was charged with lese majeste using a police complaint lodged by serial lese majeste complainant Wiput Sukprasert.
Police from Roi-et Province arrived in Bangkok to charge Sombat on Friday 13 June. Roi-et is where the monarchist Wipat, said to be a yellow-shirt businessman, lodged the complaint in January 2014.
Wiput is a crazed ultra-royalist who has made at least 15 lese majeste complaints against prominent academics and journalists. The ultra-royalist accuses Sombat of “disseminating a doctored image defaming the monarchy.” That material is a “doctored image of the 2006 coup makers.” Prachatai states:
In the image, the photos of Suthep Thaugsuban, the leader of the anti-election People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), and a woman replace those of … the King and Queen, while the faces of the then Army Chief, Navy Chief, Air Force Chief, Police Chief and Supreme Commander are replaced by those of key figures of the PDRC and the Democrat Party.
Sombat says he did not create the photo and that he has always been “very careful with the issue of the monarchy…”.
On 23 June, the military court extended his detention for a further 12 days. The military junta finds Sombat a real threat as he is able to mobilize peaceful demonstrators against military fascism. He was bailed.
His case moved slowly. On 26 August 2015, the prosecutor’s office in Roi-Et postponed the indictment of Sombat. Prosecutors are likely to decide whether to file the lese majeste case with the court on 29 September 2015.
Media reports of Sombat’s case:
Prachatai, 27 August 2015: “Lèse majesté indictment involving prominent red shirt figure postponed”
Bangkok Post, 23 June 2014: “Court extends Sombat’s detention”
Prachatai, 13 June 2014: “Police charge key red-shirt figure Sombat Boonngam-anong with lèse majesté“