‘Now all of us feel guilty and are very sorry for what we have done wrong. So we have decided not to fight our cases, and have pleaded guilty so that the court would decide on our punishment to end court proceedings, and we could exercise our right to petition for a royal pardon’, say the convicts in their letter to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dated 9 March.
They asked the Prime Minister to help seek a royal pardon to ‘free them from suffering.’
According to Sections 259-261 of the Criminal Procedure Code, those whose court cases are finished can seek a royal pardon through the Minister of Justice, or the Minister or Cabinet can, on their own initiative, propose to HM the King a royal pardon for convicts.
The 8 lèse majesté convicts include Surachai Danwatthananusorn, Warawut Thanangkorn (or Suchart Nakbangsai), Joe Gordon, Suriyan Kokpuey, Nat Sattayapornpisut, Sathian Rattanawong, Wanchai Saetan and Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul.
Surachai was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison, Warawut 3 years, Joe 2.5 years, Suriyan 3 years and 15 days, Nat 4.5 years, Sathian 3 years, Wanchai 15 years and Daranee 15 years.