Military court denies bail to suspect accused of defaming the King’s dog

The Military Court for a second time has denied bail to a factory worker accused under the lèse majesté law of defaming the King’s favourite dog.

The Military Court of Bangkok on Friday, 25 December 2015, denied bail to Thanakorn S. with a 900,000 baht guarantee after granting police permission to detain him in custody for a second period of 12 days with the possibility of further extensions.

According to Pawinee Chumsri, the suspect’s lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), the court reasoned that the interrogators objected to the bail request because investigations in the case are not yet complete.

The Military Court permitted the first custody petition for Thanakorn on 14 December and rejected a 300,000 bail request submitted by his attorney, citing the severity of the case, as it is related to national security and the Thai monarchy, and flight risk.  

Thanakorn was arrested at his house in Samut Prakan Province on 8 December 2015 by military and police officers who invoked Section 44 of the Interim Constitution which gives the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order absolute authority to maintain national security.

The 27-year-old factory worker was charged under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, for clicking ‘like’ on Facebook content deemed to defame the Thai monarchy, and Article 116, the sedition law, for posting an infographic on the Rajabhakti park corruption scandal.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported that he is accused of lèse majesté for clicking ‘like’ and posting or sharing a message mocking Thong Daeng, a well-known female copper-coloured dog, the King’s favourite pet, and also pressing ‘like’ on a doctored image of the King and sharing it with hundreds of others online.