Somyot denied bail and his petition to the Constitutional Court dismissed

On 18 May, a bail request by Somyot Prueksakasemsuk was denied yet again and the Constitutional Court dismissed his petition to seek its ruling on the constitutionality of Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lèse majesté law.

Somyot was denied bail for the 10th time since he was arrested and detained in 30 April 2011, according to his lawyers.  This time, bail was sought with a guarantee of 3 million baht, including his personal assets worth two million baht and one million baht cash from the Department of Rights and Liberties Protection under the Ministry of Justice.

The court dismissed the request, saying that the reason for the denial had already been clearly explained previously and there was no reason to change the decision. 

Kharom Pholphonklang, Somyot’s lawyer, said that the defence had sought bail for Somyot yet again because they saw that the trial was already finished, and it would take so long for the verdict to come out, as the court had announced that it had to wait for the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the lèse majesté law as had been requested by the defence.

There would probably be no more bail requests, he said.

Next week, he would petition the Director-General of the Corrections Department and the Minister of Justice to consider transferring all lèse majesté prisoners and defendants to Lak Si Prison, where other political prisoners had been relocated, because they were also political prisoners and the Bangkok Remand Prison was currently very crowded, noting that Surachai Danwattananusorn, one of his clients, for example, was old and had health problems.

Sukanya, Somyot’s wife, said that she would stop her activities regarding the court’s proceeding for a while. Now she is planning to publish books and conduct other activities with students and activists to call for amendments to the lèse majesté law, including one on 24 June marking the 80th anniversary of the People’s Party’s overthrow of the Absolute Monarchy.

On the same day, the Constitutional Court published on its website its decision to dismiss Somyot’s request to seek a ruling on whether or not the lèse majesté law was in violation of the 2007 Constitution.

The Constitutional Court said that the complainant had not exhausted the means to exercise his rights in regards to making his complaint, so according to Section 212 of the constitution and the court’s rules, the complaint was dismissed.

Kharom said that he would release a statement in response to this decision next week.

He added that Surachai would appear in court on 28 May at 9.30 am to hear a verdict in one of his lèse majesté cases in which he had pleaded guilty.


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