Military prosecutor indicts anti-junta critics for lèse majesté

The military prosecutor has indicted two embattled anti-junta critics under the lèse majesté law for allegedly defaming the Thai monarchy in a private Facebook chat.

Staff of the of the Military Judge Advocate General's Office on Tuesday, 2 August 2016, officially indicted Harit Mahaton and Natthika Worathaiwich for offences under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.

The two are accused of defaming the Thai monarchy in private correspondence via Facebook chat.

The military prosecutor also indicted them under Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act, a law against the importation of illegal information into a computer system.

However after the indictment, the two were released as the Military Court earlier granted them bail with 500,000 baht surety each.

If found guilty, the two could face three to fifteen years in prison for each offence under Article 112.

Harit and Natthika are among the eight junta critics who were abducted and charged with sedition for their alleged involvement in Facebook pages that mock Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, including a Facebook page called ‘We Love Gen Prayut’.

Unlike the other six who were earlier granted bail, they are also accused of lѐse majesté.

According to Winyat Chatmontree, lawyer from Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA) representing the two suspects, they will continue to fight the case through the judicial system.