2.5 years for false claims about monarchy related to land encroachment

The criminal court on Thursday sentenced a man to five years in jail for lèse majesté based on claims about the former royal consort in a land encroachment case. The jail term was halved because the defendant pleaded guilty, Matichon Online reported. 
Setthawut Pengdit, a younger brother of former Department of Special Investigation (DSI) Director-General Tarit Pengdit, pleaded guilty to the charge under Article 112, while another defendant, Boontham Boonthepprathan, denied all allegations. 
According to the charge, Setthawut wished to buy a plot of land in Pak Chong District of Nakhon Ratchasima Province to build a vacation resort. However, since the plot is in a protected area, Boontham proposed to help Setthawut get the plot and said if there was any problem in issuing the title deed, just let him know because he was close to Pol Lt Gen Pongpat Chayaphan, a relative of Srirasmi Suwadee, then royal consort to the Crown Prince. 
In late January 2015, Pongpat Chayaphan, ex-Commander of the Central Investigation Bureau, was sentenced to a total of six years in prison in under three offences, including lèse majesté and malfeasance in office. 
After the two were arrested in late 2014, more than 30 suspects, including four siblings and the parents of Srirasmi, were arrested for associating with the monarchy-citing network of the high-ranking police officer. The scandal culminated in the divorce of Srirasmi from the Crown Prince and her resignation from her status as a member of the Royal Family. 


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