As has become standard for lese majeste cases, Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa’s case began in secret at the Khon Kaen provincial court.
On 3 August 2017, the court heard the first plaintiff witness. No one from the public was permitted in the court room to hear this.
The usual buffalo manure “explanation” was that the secrecy was required because it involved “national security and the monarchy.” Of course it involves the monarchy, that’s why it is called lese majeste. Yet in the not too distant past, trials were open.
The national security claim is mad. Ask the more than 2000 other people who did the exact same Facebook share that Pai did. They are somehow outside the national security dragnet.
The first “witness” is the thug military officer, Lt Col Pitakpol Chusri, who filed the lese majeste complaint against Jatuphat.
We don’t expect the court to make any contribution to justice in Thailand. Rather, this is a fit-up and the court is complicit.
Jatuphat is accused of “sharing on his Facebook account a controversial biography of King Vajiralongkorn published by BBC Thai.” In fact, because it was truthful, it is “controversial.” Truth and monarchy are two words that can’t be used together in Thailand.