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Judge shoots self in court

Khanakorn: Expected to recover

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The suicide bid by a judge who shot himself in a Yala courtroom after handing down a ruling on Friday has sparked concerns over possible interference in the case.

Khanakorn Pianchana, a senior judge at the Yala provincial court, pulled out a pistol and shot himself at the end of a hearing on Friday afternoon, officials said. He was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery for injuries said not to be life-threatening. The incident reportedly took place in a third-floor courtroom.

About 3.30pm, Suriyan Hongvilai, spokesman of the Office of the Judiciary, said Mr Khanakorn had apparently acted out of stress from personal issues.

He said the Office of the Judiciary would launch a fact-finding probe into the incident.

A 25-page statement Mr Khanakorn purportedly posted on Facebook on Friday before he shot himself was circulating on social media on Friday. The document was not visible on Facebook last night.

The document states the case he was hearing concerned national security and was related to secret association, conspiracy and gun-law offences.

The document allegedly described disagreements among senior judges over the case ruling, in which Mr Khanakorn reportedly decided to acquit all five defendants.

Messages reading "Return the ruling to the judges" and "Return justice to the people" were repeated three times in the document. The Court of Justice has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the circulated document.

Future Forward Party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul declared he did not believe the suicide attempt stemmed from stress.

He said Mr Khanakorn had been sending him information since early September, asking him to help make it the public.

Vocabulary:

acquit : to state officially that someone is not guilty of the crime they were accused of - ตัดสินให้พ้นโทษ

association : an official group of people who have joined together for a particular purpose - สมาคม

case : a matter that is being officially investigated or heard by a court - คดี

conspiracy : a secret plan by a group of people to do something bad or illegal - การวางแผนอย่างลับๆ การสมรู้ร่วมคิด

courtroom (noun): a room in which trials or other legal cases are held - ห้องพิจารณาคดี

defendants (nloun): people who have been accused of a crime and are on trial - จำเลย

hearing (noun): an official meeting at which the facts about a crime, complaint, etc. are presented to the person or group of people who will have to decide what action to take - การพิจารณา

judge : someone whose job is to make decisions in a court of law - ตุลาการ, ผู้พิพากษา

judiciary : the part of a country's government which is responsible for its legal system and which consists of all the judges in the country's courts of law - คณะตุลาการ, คณะผู้พิพากษา

justice : a fair result or punishment from a court of law - ความยุติธรรม

life-threatening (adj): serious enough to possibly cause death - เป็นอันตรายต่อชีวิต

pistol : a small gun that you hold in one hand - ปืนพก,ปืนสั้น

probe : an attempt to find out the truth about an issue, problem or accident, made by an official group (or by the media); an investigation - การตรวจสอบ  การสอบสวน

statement : a formal written/spoken account of events that a person who has seen a crime or who has been accused of a crime gives to the police - คำให้การ

stress : mental pressure or worry - ความตึงเครียด

suicide : the action of deliberately killing yourself - การฆ่าตัวตาย

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