Tom Dundee confesses to lese majeste
Singer "Tom Dundee" pleaded guilty to committing lese majeste in the Criminal Court yesterday in what was seen as a precursory move to seek a royal pardon if he is handed a lengthy prison term.
He had previously denied charges of insulting the monarchy.
Thanat Thanawatcharanond, 58, aka Tom Dundee, was arrested on July 9, 2014 on a lese majeste charge and has been imprisoned since. It came just weeks after he was convicted of violating a National Council for Peace and Order summons to report for attitude adjustment.
Military prosecutors alleged he made defamatory remarks and gestures against the monarchy at a red-shirt rally in Pathum Thani in early November 2013. He was denied bail.
Last year, public prosecutors filed another lese majeste charge against him in the Criminal Court for a speech on Nov 13, 2013 at a rally in the Lak Si area. After repeatedly denying the accusations he pleaded guilty yesterday in the Criminal Court and said he also intended pleading guilty at the military court hearing on June 21.
The Criminal Court will hand down its ruling and sentence tomorrow.
Mr Thanat told the Bangkok Post that two years in prison had made him reflect on his situation and he wanted to confess to all charges.
"It's clear the lawsuits against me are all politically-motivated and likely to be lengthy and complicated," he said.
"I'm not a warrior. I'm just an entertainer. My job is to make people happy. They have been suffering a lot already as I have been denied bail. So I don't want to fight [the charges] any more," the singer said.
Mr Thanet said he had instructed his lawyer to make it known he wanted to sing at reconciliation concerts and support anti-drug and reforestation campaigns after his release.
"I want to star in a film and release a new album. I want to do many things to make society happy again," he said.