‘Da Torpedo’ given 15 years jail for lese majeste

December 16, 2011

The Criminal Court sentenced political activist Daranee “Da Torpedo” Charncherngsilapakul to 15 years in jail yesterday for committing lese majeste during political rallies in 2008. The court found Daranee guilty of three counts of lese majeste for delivering speeches on June 7 and 13 and on July 18 at Sanam Luang which strongly attacked the military for the Sept 19, 2006 coup.

Although Daranee did not directly refer to the monarchy in her speeches, the colour symbols she used in her statements made listeners understand to whom she was referring. The court said it had studied the transcript and watched video records of Daranee’s speeches before concluding she had intentionally violated the law as accused by the prosecutor.

Judging from her educational background with a bachelors degree in political science and a masters degree in public administration, plus her years of experience in the media, Daranee had made those remarks with the intention to sabotage and shed a bad light on the most respected institution of the Thai people, the court said.

The court handed down five years in prison for each of the three counts of her offence, bringing the total jail term to 15 years. Daranee said after hearing the verdict there was no point in fighting on under such circumstances. She would not appeal against the court decision but would ask her lawyer to file a request for a royal pardon. Defence lawyer Prawais Praphanukul said he could seek a royal pardon only after the 30-day deadline for an appeal expires as he did not know if the prosecutor would still want to appeal against the court ruling.

RELATED: Daranee, who was transferred from the Women’s Central Correctional Institute in Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima’s Klongphai prison during the floods, said she would like to see better care for sick inmates. Daranee suffered a molar abscess during her detention and faced difficulties in seeking medical treatment for her condition.

Source: Bangkok Post


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