Prachatai-related lese majeste case drags on

21 10 2015

In a case reported at Prachatai, the “Supreme Court has dismissed charges against Noppawan Tangudomsuk, accused of posting lese majeste messages on the Prachatai web-board in 2008, citing inconclusive evidence.”

She was accused of and charged with lese majeste and offenses under the 2007 Computer Crimes Act for posts at that board, apparently in 2008. She was arrested on 30 January 2009 and was bailed after 10 days.

The case remains murky, but was central to evidence given at the trial of Chiranuch Premchaiporn in 2011-12. Little is known of the case, with Prachatai sometimes identifying Noppawan as Bento, an internet alias. In one instance, a lower court heard that:

a Prachatai poster known as ‘Bento’, the only one to be prosecuted although police have identified the posters of the remaining nine comments with which Chiranuch is charged. Noppawan […] was acquitted of lèse majesté. The witness noted that ‘Bento’’s name had simply been replaced with Chiranuch’s in prosecution charge documents. He noted drily that the message not deleted by Prachatai’s webmaster stayed up for 20 days, unnoticed not only by MICT censors but by other users of Prachatai’s forum.

When the case came to the Supreme Court, the judges decided that an IP address, “which the prosecutors used as primary evidence, it cannot be proven that the suspect posted the lèse majesté messages because IP addresses can easily be faked.” There were no witnesses.

In 2011, the lower court dismissed the charges, “citing the same reasons, thus giving her the benefit of the doubt. However, the Appeal Court in October 2013 overturned the decision of the Court of First Instance and sentenced Noppawan to five years in prison.” Now she has been acquitted again.

Chiranuch’s lese majeste case continues “at the Supreme Court and will be finalised at the end of this year.”





Bento arrest warrant

11 09 2015

“Bento” is a name attributed to a Prachatai web board poster who was accused of and charged with lese majeste and offenses under Section 14 of the 2007 Computer Crimes Act for posts at that now defunct board in 2008. She was arrested on 30 January 2009 and was bailed after 10 days.

The case remains murky, but was central to evidence given at the trial of Chiranuch Premchaiporn in 2011-12. Little is known of the case, with Prachatai referring (several years ago) to Noppawan Tangudomsuk as Bento.

On Friday, the Bento story returned, with the Supreme Court issuing an arrest warrant for Noppawan when she failed to appear in court to hear the verdict in her case. Her father appeared at the court and stated that he does not know where his daughter is and is unable to contact her.

As well as issuing the warrant, the court set a new date to read the verdict: 20 October 2015.

Prachatai reports that the Court of First Instance in January 2011 dropped the case, citing inconclusive evidence. The Appeal Court in October 2013 overturned that decision and sentenced her to five years in prison. She appealed and was on bail.





Media reports on lese majeste

4 10 2013

A useful account of the cases below and the pardon for Surachai Danwattananusorn, considering the continued use of the political lese majeste law is:

The Guardian: Thai monarchy laws need reviewing, say critics pointing to recent cases

The stories we could find about the 5-year sentence for Noppawan Tangudomsuk or Bento and her release on 1 million baht bail:

International Business Times: Touchy Royals: Anti-Monarchy Comment Gets Thai Woman 5 Years in Jail PPT thought this comment worth repeating: “Never take your king literally, particularly when he says he is open to criticism.”King

Firstpost: Thai woman jailed for 5 years for anti-royal web post, using the Reuters story.

Radio Australia: Thai woman jailed for five years over royal insult, using an AFP report.

The Irish Independent: Thai woman jailed for five years over web insults to monarchy

Bangkok Post: Woman gets 5 years for lese majeste

P.M. News Nigeria Thailand: Woman jailed for five years for insulting royals

There are more stories on the ironic case that led to the lighter sentencing of royalist loudmouth Sondhi Limthongkul and his release on a lesser bail:

The Tribune: Thailand’s royalist media firebrand found guilty for repeating anti-monarchy insult, with an AP report.

The Independent: Founder of Thailand’s royalist Yellow Shirt movement jailed for defaming monarchy using some of an AP report.

Bangkok Post: Sondhi gets 2 years for lese majeste

Voice of America: Thai Activist Jailed for ‘Insulting King’

Asian Correspondent: Ex-yellow shirt leader Sondhi found guilty of insulting Thai monarchy, with the most detailed report.

Irish Times: Thai Royalist Politician Sondhi Limthongkul Jailed for Repeating Insult to Monarchy

Global Times: Thai ex-Yellow Shirt leader sentenced to two years in jail for lese majeste

The West Australian: Thai ‘Yellow Shirts’ founder convicted of royal slur, with the AFP report.

Washington Post: Thailand’s royalist media firebrand found guilty for repeating anti-monarchy insult, with the AP report.

Jakarta Globe: Thai ‘Yellow Shirts’ Founder Convicted of Defaming the Monarchy





Bento sentenced on lese majeste

2 10 2013

The Bangkok Post reports that the Appeals Court has “reversed the lower court’s acquittal and handed down a five-year jail sentence on [Noppawan Tangudomsuk or Bento] for lese majeste.”

Noppawan was charged with lese majeste and violating the Computer Crime Act for allegedly posting “offensive” comments at Prachatai in October 2008. In 2011, she was acquitted by a lower court.

The prosecution appealed, and the Appeals Court “found the evidence shown by the prosecution was solid enough to find Noppawan guilty and sentenced her to five years in prison.”