Bail denied to man mocking the King’s dog

The Military Court has again denied bail to a lèse majesté suspect accused of mocking the King’s dog while the suspect’s defence lawyer maintains that the case does not fall under the lèse majesté law.    

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), reported that the Bangkok Military Court on Thursday, 11 February 2016, denied bail to Thanakorn S., suspected of offences under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.

This is the sixth time that the court extended his pre-trial detention.

The police claimed that the investigation of the case is not yet complete, adding that they are now gathering forensic computer evidence and will soon submit the case file to the committee on lèse majesté cases of the Royal Thai Police.

The court dismissed the claims of the suspect’s attorney that prolonging the detention of the suspect violates human rights since the accusations against Thanakorn are disproportionate to his actions and the investigation of the case is taking too long.

The lawyer added that his client should not have been charged under Article 112 since the language of the law reads “whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, Queen, Heir-apparent or Regent shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.”

The attorney also argued the Thanakorn also should not have been charged under Article 116, the sedition law, for posting an infographic on the Rajabhakti park corruption scandal.

Similar to the case of Rinda Parichabutr who was accused of sharing a false rumour through social networks that Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, and his wife sent about 10 billion baht to a secret bank account in Singapore, his alleged crime falls under Article 328 of the Criminal Code on criminal defamation against individuals, but not Article 116, said the lawyer.  

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 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.