Temple tantrum: Anarchist tag lands man behind bars for 8 months

Image courtesy of Bangkok Post

A man who spray-painted an anarchist symbol and the number 112, referencing the lese-majeste law, on the wall of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, part of the Grand Palace last year has been sentenced to eight months in jail without suspension.

The accused, 26 year old Suttawee Soikham, is appealing the Criminal Court’s ruling and has posted bail.

The Khon Kaen native was observed by two police officers on March 28 last year spray-painting the anarchist symbol and the number 112 on the exterior wall of the temple, which is part of the Grand Palace compound in Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok. The number symbolises Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese-majeste law.

Following his act, he was immediately arrested and taken to Metropolitan Police Division 6 for questioning.

This morning, July 4, Suttawee, accompanied by a lawyer, arrived at the court to hear the ruling. Two friends who faced the same charges were present to offer moral support.

Suttawee was found guilty of violating the Ancient Monuments, Antique Objects and National Museum Act and the Cleanliness Act. He was initially sentenced to one year in jail, but the court reduced the sentence by one-third to eight months without suspension due to his confession.

Similarly, cases are still pending against two freelance news photographers who were at the scene during the act of vandalism and took photos of the incident. The Royal Thai Police formally levied charges against them on February 13 this year, despite their alleged non-involvement in the crimes.

Freelance news photographer Nattaphon Phanphongsanon stated after his arrest that he and Nuttaphol Meksobhon, a reporter for an online news outlet, were merely performing their jobs and had no other involvement.

However, the police claim to have CCTV footage of the two journalists and the artist planning the spray-painting incident. However, there is no audio, and it is unclear what the people in the video might be discussing, reported Bangkok Post.

Crime NewsThailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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