Supreme Court acquits Sonthi of lese majeste charge

The Supreme Court today acquitted Sonthi Limthongkul, former leader of the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), of lese majeste charge for his address at a political rally in July 2008.

The ruling was seen as to reverse earlier ruling by the Appeals Court which ruled Sonthi guilty of lese majeste, and to uphold ruling by the first court which acquitted him of the charge.

Sonthi was accused by the state prosecutor of the charge when he repeatedly quoted an insulting statement of the monarch by a redshirt activist Daranee Chanchernsilpakul or widely known as Da Torpedo, at a yellow shirt rally on July 20, 2008.

Da Torpedo made offensive statement insulting the monarch while addressing redshirt protesters on July 18 of the same year.

The prosecutor told the court that repeating the offensive statement of Da Torpeodo was tantamount to commit the same offence.

However at the hearing of the final judgement today, the Supreme Court ruled that Sonthi repeated the offensive statement just to urge authorities to arrest Da Torpedo for lese majeste charge rather than having intention to commit the crime himself.

The Supreme Court then overruled the judgement of the Appeal s Court which earlier ruled him guilty of lese majeste.

The Supreme Court then acquitted him of the charge.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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