Ja New's mother cleared of lese majeste

Ja New's mother cleared of lese majeste

Patnaree Chankit (file photo)
Patnaree Chankit (file photo)

The Criminal Court on Tuesday dismissed four-year-old lese majeste charges against Patnaree Chankit, mother of political activist Sirawith Seritiwat, alias Ja New, filed under Section 112 and the Computer Crimes Act.

The case was initially filed with the military court and later transferred to the Criminal Court.

The prosecution had charged that on March 12, 2016 Ms Patnaree had a chat on Facebook with a man named Burin Intin. The chat, from 10-10.40pm, contained words deemed insulting to the royal institution.

Burin had earlier been sentenced to prison by the military court.

According to the prosecution, Ms Patnaree's replying to a remark by Burin with the word "Jah", which literally means "yes" in Thai, could be construed as agreeing with Burin and being part of the offence against the royal institution.

The court found that from Ms Patnaree's one-word reply and nothing else it could not be concluded that she had an intention of insulting the monarchy. Moreover, there was no evidence that she had violated the Computer Crimes Act.

The court dismissed the case.

Ms Patnaree, who had been released on bail, cried upon hearing the court ruling. She said the case should not have been filed in the first place.

She said she felt relieved, and hoped the prosecution would not forward the case to the Appeal Court.

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