Thai student leader pleads guilty to lese majeste

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BANGKOK: A prominent student leader on Tuesday pleaded guilty to defaming Thailand’s royal family by sharing a news story about the kingdom’s new monarch on Facebook, his lawyer said. Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpatararaksa, 25, is the latest anti-junta activist to be hit with the country’s draconian lese majeste law which bans any criticism of the monarchy. The law, which carries up to 15 years in jail per charge, has been wielded with increased ferocity under Thailand’s military rulers. He has been held in custody since his arrest in December for sharing a profile of King Maha Vajiralongkorn written by the BBC’s Thai-language service in London. On Tuesday he changed his plea to guilty, his legal team said, a stance that usually trims the sentence of alleged offenders. The court in northeastern Khon Kaen province is expected to sentence him later on Tuesday, he added.

AFP

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