'Pai Dao Din' to serve 2½ years
published : 15 Aug 2017 at 15:19
updated: 15 Aug 2017 at 23:32
writer: Online Reporters
Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonyapatraksa has been sentenced to five years in jail, commuted by half because he confessed.
The Khon Kaen Court passed the ruling on Tuesday afternoon after his lawyer revealed Jatupat had decided to confess. As of Tuesday, he was detained for 237 days.
Jatupat was charged with lese majeste and violating the computer crime law for sharing on Dec 2 last year a BBC Thai Facebook biography of His Majesty the King, which was also shared by around 2,800 others at the time. He also quoted it on his Facebook account without adding any comment.
The law student activist was brought to court at 9am on Tuesday for the second hearing of prosecution witnesses which, like the first day, was to be conducted in-camera.
Shortly after Jatupat entered the courtroom, his lawyer came out to tell his parents that the ruling would be delivered in the afternoon because Jatupat had confessed before the examination of witnesses began.
His parents declined to comment.
Jatupat, 26, is a member of Dao Din, a human rights student activist group based in the Northeast, which had joined activities with villagers affected by development projects. Shortly after the 2014 military coup, the group staged protests against the junta.
He was arrested in Chaiyaphum on Dec 3 last year on a warrant based on a complaint filed by Lt Col Phitakphon Chusri, deputy chief of the Operations Directorate at the 33rd Military Circle in Khon Kaen province.
At the time, Jatupat was facing four other lawsuits, all for opposing the military junta.
He denied all charges. He was moved to Khon Kaen the next day and the court granted him bail on a 400,000-baht surety.
His bail was revoked on Dec 22 last year. The court decided he had made satirical Facebook comments challenging authorities and failed to delete the original post of the king's profile.
His 10 subsequent bail requests were denied. His trial began on June 30 this year.
In mid-April 2017, Jatupat was awarded the 2017 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, selected by the May 18 Memorial Foundation of South Korea.