Release of two lèse majesté convicts today delayed

Warawut Thanangkorn, aka Suchart Nakbangsai, and Suriyan Kokpuey were expected to be released today, but their release has been delayed as some documents have yet to be signed by the court.

According to a red-shirt blog, both of them have been granted a royal pardon under the 2012 Royal Decree for Amnesty, and were expected to be released at 8am on 23 Aug.

Warawut was convicted for a public speech defamatory to HM the Queen during an anti-coup rally in Oct 2008.  After fleeing for more than two years, he turned himself in to the police on 1 Nov 2010.

On 24 Nov 2010, the Criminal Court sentenced him to six years’ imprisonment, but reduced the jail term by half, as he had pleaded guilty.

Suriyan, a shoe repairer at the Victory Monument, was sentenced to 6 years and one month in jail in Feb 2011 for making a telephone threat to place a bomb at Siriraj Hospital and making offensive remarks against HM the Queen. His sentence was also reduced by half, due to his guilty plea.

However, they have yet to be released, pending some documents to be signed by the court.

According to Suriyan’s parents who went to the Bangkok Remand Prison this morning in anticipation of meeting their son upon his release, they were told by prison officials that the prison had not yet received documents from the court authorizing his release.

They, however, were convinced that the documents should reach the prison by the afternoon or tomorrow.  

Surachai Danwatthananusorn was sentenced to a total jail term of 12 years and 6 months for 5 offences in separate cases, which has been reduced to 10 and 9 months under to the same Royal Decree.  He filed a petition for a royal pardon on 20 Aug.         

Somyot Prueksakasemsuk is to appear in court again on 19 Sept to hear the Constitutional Court’s verdict as to whether or not the lèse majesté law is unconstitutional in response to a petition by him and his lawyers.  He, however, speculates that the decision of the Constitution Court will not be delivered on that day and the verdict in his case will be further postponed.           

Now he and Thanthawut Thaweewarodomkul are working in the library of Zone 1 in the prison.  He writes appeals for other prisoners for a fee, and in his spare time writes articles for Prachatai, is writing a book, and translates articles from Newsweek. 

Having long managed to come to terms with life in prison, he is now into meditation, chanting and reading books.  And he is currently working with other prisoners to seek donations to buy new books for the prison library.

Somyot’s lawyer Kharom Pholpornklang said that he would try to request bail for his client again next week, for the 11th time.

According to lawyer Anon Nampha, Thanthawut’s request to withdraw his appeal has finally reached the court, and if the prosecutor decides not to oppose the request within 15 days, starting from 21 Aug, the case will be finalized and Thanthawut will be able to seek a royal pardon.  

The Network of Family Members and Relatives of Section 112 Convicts has produced 1,500 cards in memory of Amphon Tangnoppakul for sale at 10 baht each to raise funds for its activities.  Those interested can buy the cards through

The funeral of Amphon will be held at Lad Prao Temple in Bangkok on Sunday 26 Aug.



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