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Court upholds Da Torpedo's 15-year lese majeste term

Jun 12. 2013
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By The Nation

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The Appeals Court yesterday upheld a 15-year prison term for Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, who was found guilty of lese majeste four years ago.

The court upheld the 15-year sentence and conviction by the Criminal Court against Daranee, 50, on three counts of lese majeste in a public speech she made at red-shirt rallies in 2008.

Public prosecutors charged that Daranee, better known as “Da Torpedo”, joined demonstrations of the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship from January to June 2008 at Sanam Luang and expressed her malicious intent against Their Majesties the King and the Queen.

The speeches led to misunderstanding and caused DAAD demonstrators to hate Their Majesties, public prosecutors charged.

On December 15, the Criminal Court ruled that a police officer from the Chanasongkram police station had recorded Daranee’s speeches and it was proved that Daranee had made statements in contempt of the King and Queen. She was given a five-year jail term each on three convictions.

Daranee appealed against the ruling, but the Appeals Court judges saw that Daranee’s behaviour had caused damage to the reputation of Their Majesties and she deserved to be punished to warn others not to follow her example.

Daranee said she had been detained without bail for over five years and none of the DAAD leaders had ever visited her.

Daranee said she was visited only by Suda Rangkuphan, a leader of the Declaration in Front of Court group, which has been campaigning for the release of red-shirt detainees.

Daranee said she might review her ties with the DAAD after she is released from jail.

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