On 22 Nov, Roi Et Provincial Court sentenced Uthai (family name withheld) to three years in prison for lèse majesté, but suspended the jail term for two years.
Uthai, 38, a resident of Thawat Buri district in Roi Et, was charged with distributing leaflets containing lèse majesté content in 2009. The court hearings were held in the provincial court in August and September this year.
The court found the defendant guilty of giving the leaflets to other people. However, it considered that in 2009 when the offence was committed, there were political demonstrations and conflicts among various groups, and [as a result] the defendant was likely to have received information in various ways. The police committee considering lèse majesté cases also came to the conclusion that the defendant had committed the offence unwittingly.
Also considering the fact that the defendant has been well behaved and has never had any record of acting against the democratic form of government with the King as Head of State, and there is no evidence that the defendant produced the leaflets, the court saw it appropriate to give the defendant an opportunity to make amends and become a good citizen, and therefore suspended the sentence for two years and ordered him to report to probation officials 4 times and to perform community service for 18 hours within a year.