Man gets 25 years in jail over Facebook posts insulting the Thai king
A Thailand military court yesterday jailed a man for 25 years for posting pictures on his Facebook page that were deemed insulting to the Thai royalty.
This is believed to be one of the toughest sentence for such cases in recent years. Tiensutham Suttijitseranee, a 58-year-old businessman, was found guilty of posting defamatory content in a closed-door court hearing of the military court.
Suttijitseranee was found guilty under Thailand’s lese-majeste law which is held to one of the world’s harshest laws and makes it a crime to defame, insult or threaten the king, queen or heir to the throne or regent.
“The court decided that because he posted five pictures with captions last year that the court deemed defamatory, he would be sentenced to a total of 50 years; 10 years for each picture posted, reduced by half to 25 years,” lawyer Sasinan Thamnithinan said.
The prison term for insulting the royalty is 50 years but Suttijitseranee got 25 years because he pleaded guilty, his lawyer said, adding the court did not allow his relatives and reporters to attend the verdict.
Since the May 2014 coup, all lese majeste cases have been tried by military tribunals and it is reported that 20 such cases have been tried since the coup.