Appeal court grants bail to ex-lese majeste convict

The Appeal Court granted bail to an ex-lese majeste convict, sentenced to jail for failing to report himself to the junta after the coup.

The Appeal Court on Monday granted bail to Nat S., a former lese majeste convict who was first to be sentenced to prison without suspension for defying junta’s order, after the defence lawyer submitted 40,000 bail request.   

On Thursday, the Court of First Instance sentenced Nat to two years and 20 days in prison with the jail term reduced by half. The court did not suspend the jail term like other anti-coup protesters because the defendant was once convicted under Article 112 or the lese majeste in 2009. However, the defendant appealed, hoping that the jail term will be suspended.

After Nat was detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison for four nights, the defence lawyer submitted a bail request to the appeal court. He was released on bail on Monday.

Nut was charged with disobeying Order No. 5/2014, which summoned him to report to the junta in late May. He was summoned by the military merely because he was convicted of lèse majesté prior to the coup.

During the hearing at the military court in Bangkok on 17 December 2014, he pleaded guilty as charged and the court ordered the Justice Ministry’s Probation Department to observe his behaviour and submit a report to the court within 30 days.

Nut was arrested and detained by the military from 7-14 June 2014. However, on 28 June, he was arrested again and brought to the Crime Suppression Division on a charge of defying junta orders.

In 2009, Nut was charged with lèse majesté under Article 112 and under Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act for sending three lèse majesté video clips to Emilio Esteban, whom the police identified as an Englishman residing in Spain. Esteban ran the now-defunct ‘Stop Lèse Majesté’ blog.