Military prosecutor defers decision on Sulak’s lese majeste case

The military prosecutor has decided to postpone the decision on the indictment of wellknown scholar Sulak Sivaraksa who was charged with lese majeste for questioning the accuracy of the history about King Naresuan the Great.

Accompanied by a lawyer, Mr Sulak went to the Bangkok military court on Thursday morning (Dec 7) to acknowledge the supposed indictment over a remark he made during a seminar at Thammasat University on June 5, 2014, concerning the battle between King Naresuan and a Burmese Prince.

The military prosecutor however decided to postpone the decision to Jan 17 following Mr Sulak’s request that the prosecutors should consult historians and legal experts before making decision on whether to indict him or not.

Representatives from several European embassies, the United Nations and human rights organizations were present at the military court to observe the legal proceedings.

Earlier, Human Rights Watch called on the military prosecutor to drop the lese majeste charge against Mr Sulak, warning that the trial would threaten free expressions and freedom of academic discussions.

“One must have a very good sense of humour. If you can not criticize history, how could you be a human being.  I criticized what happened 500 years ago. If that is wrong then how could you be a human being,” he told reporters before entering the court.

Mr Sulak said he wrote to the prosecutor in charge of the case to consult historians and legal experts before the decision is made because this case is important as it concerns academic community and history and the prosecutors accepted his proposal.

“This is quite reasonable for them, I must say,” he said.