Human Rights Organisations observe supreme court hearing
Today (February 23, 2017) at 9.30 am The Supreme court scheduled to render a verdict of Somyot’s lese majeste case. In this case, Somyot was accused for publized two articles that deemed to be lese majeste offence in Voice of Taksin magazine that he was an editor.
In the courtroom no. 911, beside Somyot and his family, there are about 30 observers who are representative from embassy and human rights organization be it Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), European Union, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sweden and France embassy
At 9.50 am the Supreme Court ordered to decreased Somyot’s prison term from five years to three year for each count to be added by the previous one year suspended sentence in which the he was found guilty for defaming Gen. Saprang Kalanamitra, altogether Somyot will be serving 7 years prison term.
The Court explained that Somyot is now old and has served time in jail for a while. Moreover Somyot did not write two articles on his own, he also gave the name of person who wrote both articles.
Previously the Court of the First Instance and the Court of Appeals sentenced Somyot to ten year with an addition of 1 year prison sentence of his defamation case against Gen.Saprang Kalayanamitr that had been suspend earlier, in sum Somyot’s prison sentence was 11 years.
On April 30, 2011 Somyot was charged at Aranyaprathet Immigration Check-point, Sakaeo province as he was trying to cross the border to Cambodia for doing his business and have been held in custody for five years and nine month and still have to serve 14 months in jail. For years he had tried to appeal for bail 16 times but the court denied his requests saying that the offence is about national security matter.