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Judge commits suicide

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PHOTO: Kanakorn Pianchana - File photo

A judge is dead after shooting himself in the heart in his home in Chiang Mai province. He had previously attempted suicide in his courtroom after being pressured to change a verdict.

In October last year, Kanakorn Pianchana, then a judge in the provincial court of Thailand’s southern Yala province, publicly claimed he had been approached by someone who “forced” him to change the not guilty verdicts of five defendants, condemning three of them to death and sending another two to prison, despite the lack of sufficient evidence to convict any of them. Yala and the neighbouring provinces are the site of Thailand’s “Southern Insurgency.”

Kanakorn decried the unfair treatment of judges in the court, such as being required to work after office hours to write verdicts without overtime pay, and being forbidden to work in a second job to earn extra income. He urged lawmakers to amend the judicial charter to prevent senior judges from screening the verdicts of the judges in the lower court of first instance before they are delivered.

Judge commits suicide | News by Thaiger

On Friday October 4, he shot himself in the chest in his own courtroom. He was rushed to hospital and his life was saved.

This morning he was less fortunate.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

SOURCES: Thai PBS World | Newshawk Phuket

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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