Property dealer jailed 12 years for lese majeste

Property dealer jailed 12 years for lese majeste

The Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced a property dealer to 12 years imprisonment after finding him guilty of lese majeste.

Boontham Boonthepprathan, 65, was charged with causing damage to the monarchy in violation of Section 112 of the Criminal Code in connection with his request for title deeds to several hundred rai of land in Khao Nong Chuam area in tambon Khanong Phra of Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district during 2007-2008.

Parts of the land overlapped a military area and were reserved as headwaters for streams, not eligible for inclusion on a title deed.

Mr Boontham allegedly claimed he had a good connection with Pol Lt Gen Pongpat Chayaphan, a former Central Investigation Bureau commissioner, and cited the royal institution to persuade Setthawut Pengdith, a land broker and younger brother of former Department of Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith, to collude with him in applying for land title deeds.

He eventually managed to get title deeds for the land, which was to be sold to resort developers.  

The court found him guilty of lese majeste and sentenced him to 16 years in jail. The prison term was reduced by one-fourth to 12 years for his useful testimony during the trial.

Mr Boontham said he would consult his relatives and lawyer and decide whether to appeal.

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