Submitted on Thu, 1 May 2014 - 10:02 AM
The Thai Appeal Court on Thursday upheld the verdict of the Court of First Instance, sentencing Yotwarit Chuklom aka Jeng Dokjik, a comedian turned red-shirt activist and politician to two years in jail for lèse majesté, without suspended jail term.
The court found Yotwarit guilty of lèse majesté for a speech and a gesture, at a red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) rally on 28 March 2010.
The 2010 red-shirt demonstration was to pressure the then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve parliament and call for fresh elections. The demonstration ended with a military crackdown, including snipers using live bullets, that killed almost 100 people.
Unlike other lèse majesté cases where the names of royal family members or coded names were stated, Jeng was accused of defaming the King by his ambiguous speech and by covering his mouth at one point in his speech about the someone who is behind the Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda.
"[I] can't state [the name]," said the red leader repetedly while covering his month.
In the speech, he discussed why it was so difficult for Abhisit to dissolve the House.
Jeng insisted the gesture meant he could not name the person. The court, however, interpreted the speech and the body language to mean that he did not dare to state the name of the person because the person was in a very high position. This could only mean the King, the court said.
At press time, Jeng has not been granted bail.