Red Shirt co-leader Jeng Dokjik given 2-year jail term for lese majeste

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BANGKOK, Jan 17 – Thailand’s Criminal Court on Thursday sentenced Red Shirt activist and former comedian Yossawaris Chuklom, also known as Jeng Dokjik, two-year imprisonment delivering a speech insulting to the country’s revered monarch.

On September 1, 2010, prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Jeng Dokjik, now advisor to the deputy commerce minister, for using inappropriate words, causing damage and hatred of the king while speaking from the rally stage of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) on March 29, 2010.

The court ruled that the defendant violated Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese majeste law, and handed down a three-year jail term.

The defendant’s jail term, however, was reduced to two years provided that his statement made to the court was useful.

Jeng Dokjik said after the court ruling that he does not want to criticise the court’s ruling, but insisted that he did not intend to insult the monarch.

The defendant’s lawyer, Thamrong Lakdaeng, said he will appeal the case and will emphasise that his client had no intention to insult the king.

Mr Thamrong said he will submit a Bt500,000 bail bond to seek Jeng Dokjik’s temporary release during the appeal process. If the court considers the bond as insufficient, he will use the title of the deputy commerce minister, also a Pheu Thai MP, Natthawut Saikua, as a guarantee.

UDD chair Tida Thavornseth commented after the court’s decision that Article 112 of the Criminal Code should be reviewed as it affects the public, as well as the monarchy.