Tom Dundee escapes one lese majeste conviction

Tom Dundee, a red shirt singer charged with lese majeste, has escaped a third lese majeste conviction (a fourth charge had been dismissed in March this year).

The decision by the Ratchaburi Provincial Court was remarkable. Even though Tom (whose name is Thanat Thanawatcharanon) had agreed to plead guilty, the court ruled that “the evidence did not support the charge.”

This may be of little comfort to Tom as he is already serving 10 years for two other lese majeste convictions. But it means he is now able to apply for a royal pardon.

There has been some social media discussion of the meaning of this dismissal – despite the guilty plea extracted – and the recent unexplained dropping of a lese majeste case against lawyer Prawet Praphanukul. Does this indicate that the regime and/or palace changed the absolute draconian approach to lese majeste.

It might be added that what might have brought lese majeste charges a short time ago, against monks and mediums using the royal name, have resulted in other charges.

We wonder if the upcoming “election” and coronation account for the recent cases being handled differently. Let’s see what happens.

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