Court drops lese majeste case against programmer
The Criminal Court yesterday dismissed a lese majeste case against computer programmer Suraphak Phuchaisaeng, who was accused of using his Facebook account to post messages offensive to the monarchy.The court ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove that 40-year-old Suraphak was behind the reportedly offensive Facebook account named by public prosecutors. The Facebook account remained active even while Suraphak was behind bars.
Suraphak was detained in September last year and had his bail request denied eight times. He was scheduled to be released from prison at 8pm last night. Taem Phuchaisaeng, 69-year-old mother of Suraphak, told The Nation on the phone that while she is delighted her son is now a free man, life over the past year had been devastating for her and her son, who has lost his livelihood.
Taem said she travelled by public bus overnight from Bung Kan province in the Northeast to visit her son two or three times a month.
"The bus would leave at 6pm and I would arrive at 5am [the next day]. I had to bother relatives while staying in Bangkok," said Taem.
Taem said she was not sure if her son would seek compensation from the authorities who arrested and detained him without bail for over a year. It was also unclear whether the Office of the Attorney General, as the plaintiff, would seek to appeal the case to the Appeals Court.