Journalist of the BBC accused of… lese-majeste

A police officer filed a criminal complaint yesterday seeking to have a journalist for the BBC charged with insulting His Majesty the King.

Pol Lt-Col Wattanasak Mungkandee of the Phahon Yothin police station said he filed a complaint against British reporter Jonathan Head in connection with remarks he allegedly made when moderating a panel discussion at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on Dec 13 entitled “Coup, Capital and Crown”. Lese majeste carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Pol Lt-Col Wattanasak said the police’s Crime Suppression Division will have to translate the evidence he presented to see whether it would pursue the case. (Bangkok Post)

Is this like a competition ? Is there a challenge among our friends in tight uniforms ? Is there a stash of money to win ?

Why wait 4 months before to come up with this story ?

I mean those “officers” must have some superiors, some seniors officers to… police them !

Lese-majeste against the BBC ! Why not CNN ? Or the Queen of England ? ! It’s amazing.

Are they running after 15 minutes of fame, in a very Andy Warhol way ? Or are they just and definitely plain stupid ?

Anyway that’s the main problem with this surreal law (even the King himself criticises it !)… any monkey on the street can accuse anybody of lese-majeste and presses charges.

[Bangkok Pundit has more details on this story.]

[read 2 very good articles from J.Head : Why Thailand’s king is so revered and Thailand’s wealthy untouchables]

It’s important to note that this “cop”… is not a beginner. “Wattanasak last month also filed a lese majeste complaint against Jakrapob Penkair, a Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office. His complaint was based on remarks Jakrapob allegedly made at an August 2007 press conference when he was part of a group opposed to the military-installed government then in power.” (AP).

So I think it’s clear now : this guy is a fanatic, a Coup lover, and he’s working on orders… against a foreign journalist who has published some articles describing the “real” Thailand (a country deeply divided, a country ruled and looted by a small elite etc.).

2 Responses to “Journalist of the BBC accused of… lese-majeste”

  1. 1 Hugo 23 April 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Jakrapob insulted the Queen of Great Britain at the FCCT in Bangkok – this is unacceptable. I say boycott Thai restaurants. I am going to tell Thai people in England to either learn about respect or go home, this culture of no respect is pathetic!

    Thailand, Thai government and Thai people have fallen low, lower than low, a culture without respect is not a culture. Say no to Thais with no culture say no to Thai restaurants!

    If Thai people want respect they are going to need a few lessons first, Thai parents should teach their children about respect – dirty monkeys!

  2. 2 Matt Pinkerfield 1 May 2008 at 8:12 pm

    The Internet makes detective work easy, a quick look at the BBC website and the videos on this channel and you know that something is going on. These cases seem like real evil attacks on the Thai monarchy to any bystander.

    Dont worry Hugo I heard that there are a very small group of Thais that are doing bad things for money. They lashed out with a Nepali monarchy dissolution chit chat by the Thai PM Samak Sunteenoralvet recently, these rogues are going to become dinosaurs soon.

    I think the more recent Cinema Chotisak and Thaksin the Flag stories are an attempt evil forces to misuse the Lese Majeste law and help hide the real cases of organised political crime and media fiddling by Jakrapob and the BBC filed by this Colonel Boong chap which is the real can of worms.

    Jakrapob is apparently attacking and squeezing the media hard to keep his own evil activities from making headlines – it looks like we have a Thaksin Dictatorship here in Thailand once again, I remember Thaksin saying in the videos to vote for PPP 🙂

    Will these guys go to Suwannaphum or Criminal Court?

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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