Today, 29 March, Section 112 (lese majeste) defendant Somyot Prueksakasemsuk asked the court to give him the death penalty.
He reasoned that due to his age, 59, and the lengthy trial process for lese majeste charges, he’s likely to pass away before the verdict. Moreover, he said that his decision could hopefully speed up the trial process for other Section 112 defendants.
Somyot is one of 22 defendants in court today on Section 112 and Section 116 (sedition) charges.
Somyot is a labor rights activist, a journalist, and a critic of Section 112. He was also the editor of the now-defunct magazine Voice of Thaksin.
On 30 April 2011, Somyot was arrested and imprisoned without bail for nearly two years. On 23 January 2013, the court sentenced him to 11 years in prison due to two articles published in his magazine that were deemed critical of a fictional character that the court interpreted as a caricature of His Majesty King Rama 9.
Somyot received an early release on 30 April 2018.
He was arrested and charged with Section 112 again earlier this year due to his pro-democracy protest activities.