Thailand’s apparent unquotable quotes

Thailand prosecutors have been given a case that becomes impossible to present without being guilty of the same crime. People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) core leader Sondhi Limthongkul turned himself in Thursday July 24 after police obtained a warrant for his arrest on a charge of quoting lese majeste uttered by a government supporter.

If this is taken on face value as it is presented, it just becomes one of those things in Thailand that makes you want to go and get some hot buttered popcorn, find a comfortable chair and watch it unfold.

Apparently Sondhi Limthongkul quoted something in a journalistic way that another person spoke that was deemed to have violated Thailand’s lese majeste laws. The original person that spoke the phrases in question was a pro government supporter that was attacking the PAD. So if the original statement is unquotable without being charged with the same crime, how can anyone present the evidence in court without violating the same law.

A judge needs to see or hear the evidence in order to make a ruling. If the evidence can’t be presented, then the only possible outcome is the case must be dropped. If the prosecutor is allowed to repeat the statement in the form of a quote, then most certainly anyone else can too including the defendant Sondhi Limthongkul. Even the police in going through the steps to get the arrest warrant for Sondhi must have violated the same law as writing the quote is no less a crime. I trust you see that this is not a snowball rolling down a hill gathering mass as it goes, it is darker much more organic and has a foul smell.

This simply is a catch 22 for the government and very possibly motivated by the government seeking to silence anti government protests. There is no need to even talk about this any further. All that is needed is your favorite chair and popcorn.

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