Suwicha Takor gets 10 years for lese majeste


On April 3, the Criminal Court sentenced Suwicha Takor to 10 years in prison for his violations of the constitution, the Criminal Code and the Computer Related Crime law.


The Court ruled that Suwicha was guilty of offences under Articles 8 and 9 of the 2007 Constitution, Articles 33, 83, 91 and 112 of the Criminal Code, and Articles 14 (2) and 16 (1) of 2007 Computer Related Crime law.  He was punished under the article which carries the most severe penalty, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison on two counts of ten years each.  As he pleaded guilty, the jail term was reduced to 10 years.


Suwicha, 34, was a solids control engineer for a transnational oil rig company.  He was arrested by police on Jan 14, 2009, in his hometown Nakhon Phanom in the northeast, and charged with committing offences that included sending pictures offensive to the king and the heir apparent via the internet.  He was flown to Bangkok, and was detained in prison until the Court gave its verdict.  The Court had twice dismissed his lawyers' requests for his bail.


He was fired by his company on Jan 15 for damaging its reputation, without any compensation.


On March 26, the Prosecutor brought the case to court, and on Mar 30, Suwicha pleaded guilty.


2007 Constitution


Article 8.  The King shall be enthroned in a position of revered worship and shall not be violated. No person shall expose the King to any sort of accusation or action.


Article 9.  The King is a Buddhist and Upholder of religions.


Criminal Code


Article 33ใ  For the forfeiture of a property, the Court shall, besides having the power of forfeiture under the law as specially provided for that purpose, have the power to forfeit also the following properties, namely:


(1) property used or possessed for use in the commission of an offence by a person; or


(2) property acquired by a person through the commission of an offence


unless such property belongs to another person who is not convicted of the commission of the offence.


Article 83.  In case of any offence committed by two or more persons, such accomplices deemed to be principals shall be punished as provided by the law for such offence.


Article 91.  If it appears that any offender has committed several distinct and different offences, the Court may inflict upon such offender the punishment prescribed for each offence.  But, whether there shall be increase of the punishment, reduction of the punishment or reduction in the scale of the punishment, or not, the total punishment of each offence must not exceed the following determination:


(1)      ten years in case of the severest offence having the maximum punishment of imprisonment not exceeding three years;


(2)      twenty years in case of the severest offence having the maximum punishment of imprisonment exceeding three years, but not more than ten years;


(3)      fifty years in case of the severest offence having the maximum punishment of imprisonment exceeding three years upwards, unless in the case where the Court inflicts upon the offender the punishment of imprisonment for life.


Article 112ใ  Whoever defames, insult or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.


2007 Computer Crime Act


Article 14.  Any person committing any offence under the following acts shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine of not more than one hundred thousand baht or both:


(2) that involves import to a computer system of false computer data in a manner that is likely to damage the country's security or cause a public panic;


Article 16.  Any person who imports to a computer system that is publicly accessible computer data where a third party's picture appears either created, edited, added or adapted by electronic means or otherwise in a manner that is likely to impair that third party's reputation or cause that third party to be ostracized, abominated or embarrassed, shall be subject to imprisonment for not longer than three years or a fine of not more than sixty thousand baht, or both.

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