SMS sender arraigned for alleged lèse majesté and denied bail

Amphon Tangnoppakul, 61, has been detained without bail after being indicted by the public prosecutor for lèse majesté.

On 18 Jan, Amphon reported to the Criminal Court after being indicted by the public prosecutor for allegedly sending messages offensive to the monarchy to the Prime Minister and other persons.  He was charged with violating Sections 14 (2) and (3) of the 2007 Computer Crimes Act, Section 112 of the Criminal Code (dealing with lèse majesté) and Decree 41 of the 1976 coup  which changed the penalty for lèse majesté from a maximum of 7 years in prison to 3-15 years.

His lawyer submitted a bail request with a land title deed as guarantee.  

It took more than 8 hours until about 5.30 pm before the court dismissed the bail request, saying that the alleged crimes against the monarchy were severe and he might flee.  Amphon was then taken to Bangkok Remand Prison.

According to his lawyer, Amphon lives with his wife, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren in a rented room in Samut Prakan.  He is retired and is given about 3,000 baht a month by his children.  He has cancer of the mouth, and has had to see doctors regularly since 2007.

Amphon was arrested on 3 Aug 2010 and was detained at Bangkok Remand Prison for about two months before being granted bail.



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