Man jailed 5 years for lese majeste

Man jailed 5 years for lese majeste

The Criminal Court on Thursday sentenced a man to 10 years imprisonment without suspension after finding him guilty of lese majeste, illegally demanding and taking a bribe and having weapons and ammunition in his possession illegally.

The prison term was halved to five years because he confessed.

The prosecution told the court that Ekachai Ployhin, 28, alias Ef, on Dec 12, 2008 deceived Busakorn Ounchai while talking on the telephone, saying he could help clear her husband, Paithoon Nemisaen, who was then detained at Ratchaburi Prison, of drug charges. He demanded two million baht from her.

They made an appointment to meet at a restaurant in Ratchaburi.  At the restaurant, Ekachai told Ms Busakorn and Bantherng Nemisaen, Paithoon's father, that he was a nephew of the then-princess Srirasm.

This caused Mr Banthern to believe Ekachai would be able to help his son out of trouble, and agreed to pay the demanded sum of money.

They made an appointment to meet again on Dec 22, 2008 to hand over the money at the Golden City Hotel in Ratchaburi town.  At the hotel, Mr Bantherng said he had only 1.3 million baht.  Ekachai agreed to the smaller sum and took it.

It turned out later that Paithoon was not only refused bail but also given a prison sentence.

A complaint was filed against Ekachai and he was arrested. Authorities found in had in his possession one shotgun, one rifle and two automatic pistols without the needed permits, and assorted ammunition.  The weapons and ammunition were found to belong to other people.

Ekachai confessed to all charges.

The court sentenced him to 10 years in prison - five years for lese majeste, two years for demanding a bribe, and three years for illegal possession of weapons.  The total sentence was commuted to five years because of his confession.

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