Da Torpedo wins round two

Da Torpedo won her round in the Appeal Court but she still has two more rounds to go before she finds out if she will be a long-time prisoner.

Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, alias Da Torpedo, is in high spirits after the Appeal Court overturned her conviction in 2008 for lese majeste. SURAPOL PROMSAKA NA SAKOLNAKORN

This will be a good test of your reading comprehension. Make sure you understand what the Appeal Court did and didn't do. What happens next in this case? Is it still possible that Da Torpedo will be in jail for many years to come?

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Appeal Court annuls Da Torpedo ruling

The Appeal Court has quashed a Criminal Court verdict sentencing red shirt activist Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul to 18 years in jail for lese majeste.

Daranee, a former journalist known as "Da Torpedo", had asked the lower court to suspend her trial and consult the Constitution Court on whether the hearings –  held in camera at the prosecutors' request –  violated the 2007 charter.

Daranee was accused of lese majeste in connection with speeches made at red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) rallies at Sanam Luang on Jan 18, June 7 and June 13, 2008.

Prosecutors, citing Section 177 of the Criminal Procedures Code, asked the Criminal Court to hold the trial in camera and not allow the public to attend the hearings, arguing the case involved the royal institution and might affect national security.

Daranee submitted a petition to the court, saying the prosecutors' request contravened Sections 29 and 40 of the constitution, which provide for an open trial.

She asked the Criminal Court to send her petition to the Constitution Court to rule whether the prosecutors' request was constitutional.

The Criminal Court declined to forward her petition to the court and went ahead with the trial and convicted and sentenced Daranee to 18 years in prison on Aug 28, 2009.

Daranee took the case to the Appeal Court, which found yesterday that the lower court should have passed on the petition.

It ruled in her favour and quashed the jail sentence.

The Criminal Court will forward her petition to the Constitution Court for a ruling on whether the prosecutors' request for the trial to be held in camera under Section 177 of the Criminal Procedures Code contravenes Sections 29 and 40 of the constitution.

If the Constitution Court rules in favour of Daranee, the prosecution can request a fresh trial before the Criminal Court.

The charge was not dismissed.

Daranee can request release on bail pending the court's ruling.

The decision rests with the Criminal Court.

alias – used when a person is known by two names; used before a different name that someone uses instead of their real name  ฉายา, สมญานาม
Appeal Court (Court of Appeal) – a court that decides requests that a decision made by a lower court be changed ศาลอุทธรณ์
overturn – to change a situation to the opposite พลิกคว่ำ
conviction – when someone is officially found to be guilty of a particular crime การพิสูจน์ว่ากระทำผิด
lese majeste – the crime of offending, threatening or showing disrespect for a member of the royal family หมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ
annul – to officially end ประกาศว่าเป็นโมฆะ
ruling – a decision by a court of law คำตัดสิน คำชี้ขาด
quash – to stop something from continuing ยกเลิก
verdict – a decision by a court of law คำพิพากษา
sentence – (of a court of law) to give a punishment to someone who has been accused of committing a crime คำพิพากษา
activist – someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation นักกิจกรรม
journalist – a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television ผู้สื่อข่าว
suspend – to stop for a period of time ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว
trial – the process of examining a case in a court of law and deciding whether someone is guilty (having committed a crime) or innocent (not having committed a crime) การไต่สวนคดี
consult – to ask for information or advice from someone หารือ
constitution – the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by รัฐธรรมนูญ
in camera – in a judge's private room, without the press or the public being present (พิจารณาคดี)โดยลับ
prosecutor – a lawyer whose job is to prove in court that someone accused of a crime is guilty อัยการ
violate – to do something that is against a law, agreement, principle, etc. ละเมิด
charter – a constitution รัฐธรรมนูญ
United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) – the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which is now leading the fight against the current government. They are known for wearing red shirts แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาต
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
citing – mentioning as a reason  อ้างอิงเหตุผล
procedure – a way of doing something  ขั้นตอนการดำเนินการ
code – rules of proper behaviour for a particular job, organisation, etc. มาตรการ, กฎเกณฑ์, ระเบียบ
the public – people in general ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
security – protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
submit – to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
petition – an official document in which you ask a court to take legal action คำร้องต่อศาล
contravene – to do something that is not allowed by a rule, law, or agreement ฝ่าฝืน
constitutional – correct or allowed according to the constitution ถูกต้องหรืออยู่ในขอบข่ายที่ระบุไว้ในรัฐธรรมนูญ
decline – to say that you will not accept something or do something  ปฏิเสธที่จะทำ
forward – to send onwards  ส่งต่อ
convict – to prove in a court of law that someone is guilty of a crime พิสูจน์ว่าผิดกฎหมาย
in favour – supporting a person or an idea, proposal etc that you believe is right ยอมรับ, สนับสนุน
quash – to stop something from continuing ยกเลิก
contravene – to do something that is not allowed by a rule, law, or agreement ฝ่าฝืน
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
charge dismissed – (of a court of law) to decide that the charge made against a person is not correct and should not be taken to court ยกฟ้อง
release – allowing someone to go free การปล่อยตัว
bail – money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money  เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว
pending – waiting to be dealt with, settled or completed อยู่ในระหว่าง
rest with – to be the responsibility of; to depend on เป็นความรับผิดชอบของ, เป็นหน้าที่ของ

Related search: Da Torpedo, lese majeste

About the author

Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager