'Suicidal' judge transferred to Chiang Mai

'Suicidal' judge transferred to Chiang Mai

The Judicial Commission on Monday resolved to transfer Judge Khanakorn Pianchana -- who made headlines after shooting himself in court over alleged interference in a case he was handling -- to Chiang Mai until further notice, according to the Office of the Court of Justice.

The office's secretary-general, Sarawut Benjakul, said the transfer order will see Mr Khanakhorn re-assigned to the Research Justice Division with the Court of Appeal Region 5 in Chiang Mai.

A probe has also been ordered to see if Mr Khanakorn violated any disciplinary codes, he said.

The order was issued after the Judicial Commission finished reviewing the results of an investigation into Mr Khanakorn's actions on Oct 4, when he shot himself at the end of a court hearing.

It was believed that Mr Khanakorn shot himself over "interference" in a mass-shooting case in Yala's Bannang Sata district in June last year. Mr Khanakorn decided to acquit five defendants which had been accused of carrying out the shooting.

Mr Sarawut said the Judicial Commission also resolved to set up a subcommittee to draw up guidelines for regional judges on how to approach cases involving serious offences.

A source at the Supreme Court said on Monday Mr Khanakorn's transfer is not a "demotion", but a move to keep him from further stress.

According to the source, the new job will give Mr Khanakorn the opportunity to learn "how checks and balances work".

As for the shooting in a Chanthaburi court last Tuesday, in which three people were killed, Mr Sarawut said that the case will be investigated by the Royal Thai Police, while the Office of the Court of Justice will ask the War Veterans Organisation of Thailand -- which provides security at courts nationwide -- to tighten up their security measures.

Pol Lt Gen Montree Yimyaem, chief of Provincial Police Region 2, said an investigation is under way to determine how the paralegal, who shot the killer of the other two victims, obtained a court marshal's gun.

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