Submitted on Fri, 2 Jun 2017 - 03:05 PM
An attorney general has decided not to indict a woman accused of sedition for posting a Facebook status criticising a military-involved corruption case, reasoning that her opinion is in the public interest.
On 30 May, an attorney from Phra Khanong provincial court chose not to indict Cham (pseudonym) for breaching the sedition law and the Computer Crimes Act, of which she had been accused by the military after she posted on her Facebook account that Rajabhakti Park scandal reflected an internal conflict in the ruling junta.
But the prosecutor argued said that Cham’s Facebook post was a mere comment in the public interest, rather than a threat to national security or public safety.
Though Cham’s comments about deputy junta head Gen Prawit Wongsuwan in the post could constitute defamation, the victim has not initiated a case, added the attorney.
This is the second attempt by authorities to prosecute Cham. Police investigators previously sent her case to a military prosecutor but were rejected.
There remain three ongoing cases of individuals being prosecuted under the sedition law for criticising the Rajabhakti Park scandal via social media.
The Rajabhakti Park construction project, costing approximately 1 billion baht (28 million USD), was initiated and overseen by Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, former chief of the Royal Thai Army. In November 2015, the public was outraged after Udomdej admitted to media that some 20 million baht had been taken from the military-led project’s budget, in the form of ‘commissions’.
But after a lengthy probe into the park corruption scandal, the National Anti-Corruption Commission concluded on 7 September 2016 that there was no evidence of corruption.