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Surachai convicted for lese majeste


The Criminal Court on Tuesday found red-shirt leader Surachai Danwattananusorn, or Sae Dan, guilty of royal insult.

The court sentenced him to serve a total of 7.5 years in jail for three counts of lese majeste.

Red Siam Group leader Surachai's original sentencing was 15 years but the court cited his confession as grounds for leniency to halve his jail term.

The verdict was based on Surachai's three rally speeches in Udon Thani, Chiang Mai and Bangkok in 2010.

The defence team said Surachai will seek a royal pardon.

Earlier Surachai vowed to begin a hunger strike if he is not moved to the new detention centre for political prisoners in Bangkok’s Lak Si district.

His wife, Pranee, quoted Surachai, 69, as saying he was disheartened by the fact that he and another red shirt lese majeste detainee, Somyos Prueksakasem-suk, were not regarded as political prisoners.

Forty-seven red shirts sentenced for crimes related to the April-May 2010 clashes were moved to the new detention centre on Tuesday. However, none of the 10 or so known lese-majeste detainees have been transferred despite a proposal by the Truth for Reconciliation Committee of Thailand (TRCT). The government said it would consult with the TRCT.
VIEW SOURCE FROM http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/

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