4 put on probation for torching signs honouring King

4 put on probation for torching signs honouring King

Three young defendants, left, accompanied by a lawyer, right, arrive at the Khon Kaen Provincial Court on Wednesday morning. They were among four defendants charged with setting fire to portraits of King Rama 10 in Khon Kaen in 2020. (Photo: Chakrapan Natanri)
Three young defendants, left, accompanied by a lawyer, right, arrive at the Khon Kaen Provincial Court on Wednesday morning. They were among four defendants charged with setting fire to portraits of King Rama 10 in Khon Kaen in 2020. (Photo: Chakrapan Natanri)

KHON KAEN: The Khon Kaen Provincial Court on Wednesday sentenced four young men to two years on probation and 24 hours of community service for setting fire to portraits of King Rama 10 in 2020.

The four young men were defendants in three cases. They were charged with arson that damaged the property of others. 

In the first case, Isreth Charoenkhong, a core member of the Serichon group, was charged in connection with the burning of a portrait of His Majesty alongside the Khon Kaen town ring road on March 11, 2020, causing 4,500 baht damage.

In the second case, Ruangsak Loyjanjaem and Panupong Plerin, third-year students of the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Khon Kaen University, were charged for setting fire to a portrait of His Majesty in front of Srinagarind Hospital on Mitrapap road in Muang district, Khon Kaen, on Sept 13, 2020, causing 149,800 baht damage.

Akradet Attamanee, a third-year student of Khon Kaen Technical College, was slapped with the same charge for setting alight a portrait of His Majesty in front of the college on Sept 18, 2020, causing 85,120 baht damage.

The four defendants confessed to the charges and agreed to pay for the damage.

Pathana Sriyai, a lawyer from the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights Centre, said the court sentenced the four to two years on probation and 24 hours of community service. During the first year, they are to report to probation officers four times.

The court's ruling was read at 10am at Courtroom No 2 in the presence of all four defendants. People not directly involved with the case, including reporters, were not allowed in the courtroom.

Police, both in uniform and plainclothes, were deployed around the court to maintain law and order.

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