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Outpouring of public support for Thai judge who shot himself in Yala court

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“Return verdict to the judge, return justice to the people.”

People have been placing fresh flowers in front of the Yala Provincial Court to show their support for Khanakorn Pianchana, the local judge who tried to kill himself last Friday in the court room after reading a verdict. Among the flowers message, a message reading “Return verdict to the judge, return justice to the people”.

The judge shot himself in the courtroom just after he’d finished reading a verdict in relation to accusations against a gang of alleged criminals. The media has been reporting that the judge’s supervisors had forced him to alter the verdict against his will, and presumably against the evidence in the case.

The outcry “Return verdict to the judge, return justice to the people” was trending on social media on the weekend as Thai netizens have debated and shared news reports about the shocking event.

The Office of the Judiciary has already announced a full investigation into the  judge at the Yala provincial court who allegedly tried to commit suicide.

Khanakorn, a senior judge at the provincial court, reportedly pulled out a gun and shot himself in the chest at the end of a verdict reading in the court on Friday afternoon.

The judge had now been moved out of the hospital’s intensive care unit and, according to doctors, is out of danger.

The Nation and local media suggest that before shooting himself, Khanakorn had posted on his Facebook page that his supervisors were allegedly trying to influence his judgement in the criminal case. The post has since been removed. But a 25 page statement supposedly posted on Facebook by Khanakorn has been tracked down and shared across social media.

The statement reveals that the case Khanakorn was hearing related to national security and was linked to secret associations, conspiracy and gun-law offences. The document allegedly described disagreements among senior judges over the ruling and Khanakorn’s reported decision to acquit all five defendants.

At the end of the document, there is a quote that has now become the words that will surely lead to a wider social media campaign in Thailand… “Return verdict to the judge, return justice to the people”. The words imply that his supervising judges had allegedly violated the principle of independence of a judge in delivering a verdict.

SOURCE: The Nation

 

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