MFP MP, Rukchanok Srinork, granted bail with conditions

Photo via Facebook/ Chakkaphong Chookam

The Criminal Court of Thailand granted a temporary release to Move Forward Party (MFP) MP Rukchanok Srinork.

Rukchanok was prosecuted for violating Section 112 of the Criminal Law or lèse majesté law, and Computer Act after she retweeted posts from her Twitter account between July 18 to August 9 of last year, 2022. The messages she retweeted were about the vaccination distribution in Thailand including a picture of King Rama 10.

In the court’s final verdict yesterday, December 12, Rukchanok was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment without parole. MFP leader Chaitawat Tulathon, who accompanied Rukchanok to the final hearing, announced that he would use his political position and 300,000 baht to apply for Rukchanok’s temporary release.

The court then announced at around 3.40pm that Rukchanok would be released temporarily with the 500,000 baht and the party leader’s political position as collateral.

Related news

However, Rukchanok must abide by the condition that she must not engage in similar or identical activities during her temporary release. Rukchanok has not been suspended from her duties as an MP and will be able to work as normal.

In addition to Rukchanok, two other MFP MPs are being prosecuted for violating the lèse majesté law. MP Chonticha Jaengraew, a former political activist, broke the law by calling for reform of the monarchy and mentioning the royal family during the protests.

MP Piyarat Chonthep was also charged under Section 112 when, as a political activist, he criticised the government led by former Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and called for the reform of the monarchy.

 

ORIGINAL STORY: Bangkok MP Rukchanok Srinork sentenced to six years for tweets

The Criminal Court has sentenced Rukchanok Srinork, a Bangkok MP from the Move Forward Party (MFP), to six years in prison without suspension.

The charges stem from her tweets and retweets of others’ messages in 2020, in violation of Section 112 of the Criminal Code and the Computer Crime Act and lèse majesté. The verdict was delivered at 9am today, December 13, in case number Black No. 683/2565. The verdict centres around Rukchanok’s retweeting escapade, involving two incendiary messages intertwining the monarchy and Covid-19 vaccines.

Rukchanok, accompanied by Chaitawat Tulathon, an MP from the party list and the leader of the MFP, was present in court to hear the final verdict. Currently, she is exercising her parliamentary right to bail.

The Thai Criminal Court dismissed the MP’s plea for a verdict postponement, citing an unfortunate clash with the parliamentary session, reported KhaoSod.

In Thailand, lèse-majesté stands as a criminal offence, as stipulated by Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code. This law expressly prohibits the defamation, insult, or threat directed towards any member of the Thai monarchy, including the king, queen, heir-apparent, heir-presumptive, or regent.

Notably, Thailand holds the distinction of being the sole constitutional monarchy that has fortified its lèse-majesté legislation since the conclusion of World War II. The severity of the penalties prescribed under this law is marked, ranging from three to 15 years of imprisonment for each infringement.

In the past decade, the media has prominently featured various high-profile cases, particularly those involving celebrities or models filing criminal charges under the Computer Crimes Act. The Act’s application in criminal defamation cases has also generated considerable commentary.

However, the significance of the Computer Crimes Act extends beyond the realm of celebrities; it holds relevance for all businesses incorporating computers in their operations. According to the amended Act, businesses may incur criminal penalties if they dispatch computer data or emails causing inconvenience or annoyance to recipients without offering a readily available option to cancel, unsubscribe, or notify the sender to cease further communications. The maximum fine is 200,000 baht.

Politics NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

Related Articles