Thai lèse majesté prisoner victim of torture-PPT
February 22, 2012
[CJ Hinke of FACT comments: We think PPT’s title is off the mark. What’s happening to Somyot is torture. Thai govt is intentionally adding this extra torture because Somyot has the courage to fight back. They want to break his spirit and his mind and prevent him from mounting an effective defence. Shameful! Not wanting to get out of lock-step, the Appeals Court just turned down Somyot’s eighth bail application, initiated by his son.]
Somyos and judicial incompetence
Political Prisoners in Thailand: February 15, 2012
We apologize for being slow in posting this, as news has already appeared at Prachatai, and PPT was informed a day ago.
Somyos’ trial has been postponed due to the absence of the key prosecution witness. The trial will resume on 18 April 2012.
In fact, the prosecution’s witness didn’t show up because the witness refused to travel south to Songkhla, making a complete nonsense of the state’s ridiculous claims that Somyos needs to appear in multiple provincial courts.
Somyos had been moved to the Songkhla Provincial Prison on 8 February, after having earlier been relocated to Sakaew, Phetchabun and Nakhon Sawan for earlier hearings of prosecution witnesses. The long trip to Songkhla too 12 hours in the back of a baking hot detention vehicle. Now he will be returned to Bangkok the same way.
What makes the postponement worse is the fact that the courts had repeatedly refused request by defense lawyers for the trial to be conducted in Bangkok. Their actions are now a laughing stock, showing that the process is little more than an exercise in punishing Somyos for refusing to plead guilty to the politicized charge of lese majeste.
The only good news (if that is the term) in this shamozzle is that the trial will resume in Bangkok.
Lawyers, family members, supporters and international observers all expressed frustration and disappointment with the prosecution’s incompetence.
This political prisoner must be bailed as soon as possible to prevent further persecution by state prosecutors and the judiciary.