Panel set up to probe judge case

Panel set up to probe judge case

The 25-page statement allegedly from Judge Khanakorn Pianchana is shown on the Facebook page of Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, secretary-general of the Future Forward Party, on Friday. (Photo from Piyabutr Saengkanokkul - ปิยบุตร แสงกนกกุล Facebook)
The 25-page statement allegedly from Judge Khanakorn Pianchana is shown on the Facebook page of Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, secretary-general of the Future Forward Party, on Friday. (Photo from Piyabutr Saengkanokkul - ปิยบุตร แสงกนกกุล Facebook)

The Judicial Commission has set up a special panel to look into the facts involving the attempted suicide of a judge in the Yala court last week.

The panel, which comprises three commissioners, each from the three tiers of courts, will conclude its findings and report to the commission in 15 days.

Khanakorn Pianchana, chief of a panel of judges in the Yala court, shot himself in court after acquitting five defendants in a murder case that took place last year. His statement indicated his ruling had been reviewed by his superiors, one of whom suggested he should reverse his decision. 

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday it was up to the courts to make decisions in this case.

“The secretary-general of the Courts of Justice already said no one could intervene with the court’s procedures. I don’t want to escalate the conflict,” he said.

On the same day, the Human Rights Lawyers Association, together with 12 organisations, issued a statement calling for an investigation into the facts.

“We urge the Judicial Commission to set up an independent and impartial panel to look into the alleged interference claimed by Mr Khanakorn Pianchana. If wrongdoings are found, we urge criminal and disciplinary actions.”

The statement also suggested the Supreme Court’s president review and propose amendments to the regulations on the handling of important cases to prevent intervention and create mechanisms for a fair trial. It should also have a recourse for affected judges to safely seek justice, according to the statement.

Judges should also have moral courage to refuse to bow to extrajudicial influence and bias, which could compromise justice.

As well, media should not distort the news, which could further politicise the case and polarise the country, the statement said.


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