Submitted on Thu, 2016-07-07 20:06
Citing national peace and order, a military court has given the green light to the prosecution’s request to hold the trial of six lèse majesté suspects in secret. They are alleged to have been involved in a Bike for Dad terrorist plot and making lèse majesté comments behind bars.
On Tuesday, 5 July 2016, the Military Court in Khon Kaen approved the military prosecutor’s request to hold a secret trial for Prathin Chanket and five other suspects charged with lèse majesté, arguing that a public trial would affect national peace and order since the case contained sensitive messages, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported.
The first witness hearing of the case will be held in secret on 4 August 2016, with neither the media nor observers allowed into court.
The six suspects were charged under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, on 15 February 2016. The prosecution alleges that at some time between August 2014 and February 2015, the defendants uttered three lèse majesté messages to two witnesses. However, according to TLHR, during that time, the defendants were being detained separately at a prison in Khon Kaen Province. All the defendants therefore denied the allegation.
In addition to the lèse majesté charges, the defendants are also being prosecuted for their involvement in an alleged terrorist plot last year at the Bike for Dad event, a cycling rally to honour HM the King.