Report of trial
On February 16th, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, editor of “ Voice of Taksin ” magazine, was brought to Nakornsawan Provincial Court for the third hearing of the prosecution witnesses.
More than 40 supporters and family attended, including an international observer, John Maynard, the president of the Postal Workers Union of Aotearoa, and long time friend of Somyot’s.
The only witness on Monday was the former secretary of Sunai’s Law office, Miss Pranida Homhuan. The attorney asked Pranida Homhuan her view about the two articles written by Jit Pollachan, the basis of the case against Somyot. She confirmed that she had been asked to review the articles but that her opinion was that the content of the articles did not relate to the king. This statement was made under oath to defense lawyer, Mr. Suwit Thongnuan.
Somyot arrived in court shackled and reported to observers that the regime of Nakhonsawan prison was more strict than Petchaboon prison and that he had been staying in the infirmary due to ill health. According to Somyot he has been unable to buy food suitable for his health problems for some time. Somyot made the request for a transfer back to Bangkok prison rather than face the transfer to Songkhala prison for the next defense witness hearing, on the basis of his security and health. The judge claimed that he had no authority to grant this request.
After the hearing, Somyot’s defeence lawyer Mr. Suwit Thongnuan said that he did not understand why Pranida Homhuan had been called as a witness as there was no relevant evidence presented at the under questioning. He argued that the movement across Thailand for this hearing was not warranted and put an unnecessary pressure on his client. He restated his concern about Somyot’s security at the next hearing as it will be held in Songkhla Province, a region dominated by the PAD (People’s Alliance for Democracy ) which represents a strong opposition to Somyot’s political position.
Sunai Jullapongsathorn , chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Thailand stated that he was concerned about Somyot’s movement around Thailand and would assist Somyot’s legal team in their appeal to the Criminal Court to relocate the next hearing to Bangkok.