Court dismisses Article 112 charge, says words need interpretation and don’t refer to any specific person

The court has dismissed a charge against Sakan (family name not given out of privacy concerns), alleged to have violated Article 112 while detained in Bangkok Remand Prison.

The court said that even though the accused confessed, his action cannot be confirmed as defamation against the King and Queen as charged. The court therefore dismissed the case under Article 185 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The court did not order the accused to be detained pending a possible appeal by the prosecutor, so he was released after the court delivered its verdict.

After being released, Sakan said in an interview that the case started while he was detained in Bangkok Remand Prison. He was accused by fellow prisoners when he was about to be complete his sentence from his original case in 2015 under a pardon due to good behavior.

Because of this, Sakan had to stay in prison and serve the full 4 year sentence ordered by the court. On his release, he was seized by police over this second case on 11 Oct 2017 and was detained for 7 months during his trial until the court approved a request for bail with 500,000 baht as collateral. 

Sakan said the reason he was reported by his fellow inmates may be that the guards had assigned him as a trustee since he had received military training from when he was a soldier. This made other prisoners dissatisfied, even though Sakan himself was not altogether willing to take the position.

Before the court set the date for reading the verdict, after the court questioned Sakan and investigated the evidence in the case, on 16 Oct 2018 he requested to testify again and confess.

iLaw reported further details of the allegations, which are that while in detention and watching a TV report on the activities of King Rama IX, the accused wilfully made defamatory comments about the King.  Later on 5 December 2014, during the singing of the Royal Anthem at a ceremony organized by the prison to honour HM the King’s birthday, it was alleged the accused wilfully made defamatory comments.  Again in early December 2014, it was alleged that the accused wilfully made comments of a defamatory nature.

Source: Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)



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