Two lѐse majesté convicts have been released on royal pardons after being imprisoned for almost two years. The Bureau of the Royal Household of the Thai Monarchy recently approved the requests for royal pardons from an editor of the Thai E News website with the pseudonym ‘Somsak Pakdeedech’ and Pol Sgt Maj Prasit Chaisrisa, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for the Pheu Thai Party, who were both convicted under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lѐse majesté law.
The Criminal Court has sentenced Sgt Prasit Chaisrisa, a former Pheu Thai MP and red-shirt figure, to five years in jail, but since the defendant pleaded guilty, the jail term was halved to two years and six months. The court ruled that Prasit defamed the King during a speech at an event titled “Stop Overthrowing Democracy,” held at the Imperial World Ladprao Department Store on 7 May 2014. The court reasoned that the jail term should not be suspended because the speech greatly damaged the beloved monarchical instituti
Sgt Prasit Chaisrisa, a former Pheu Thai MP and red-shirt figure, on Monday pleaded guilty to lèse majesté charges before the criminal court, after he earlier denied all allegations. Prasit was accused of defaming the King during a speech on an event titled “Stop Overthrowing Democracy,” held at Imperial World Ladprao Department Store on 7 May 2014. A staff member of the military Judge Advocate General’s Office filed a police complaint against him. He has been detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison since his arrest on 29 May.
Akaradej (last name withheld due to privacy concerns) on Tuesday pleaded guilty before the Court to posting comments deemed lèse majesté on Facebook.
Coup makers, since 1976 coup d’etat, have regularly cited a surge of lese majeste as a prerequisite for overthrowing an elected government. The 2006 coup, when lese majeste was cited as one of the major reasons, marked a surge of the lese majeste cases. The atrocity in April-May 2010, where almost 100 of people were killed during the military crackdown on anti-establishment red-shirt protesters, also contributed to a dramatic rise of lese majeste cases, especially the offences committed online.