December 14, 2023
BANGKOK – Rukchanok was detained immediately after the verdict was read at the court on Ratchadapisek Road.
Move Forward Party leader Chaithawat Tulathon said he would seek her release on bail pending an appeal against the ruling.
Rukchanok was accused of twice violating Article 112 (the lese majeste law) and also breaching the Computer Crime Act for acts during the period from July 18 to August 9 last year.
She was charged with posting messages about the Covid-19 vaccine that showed contempt and hatred towards HM the King.
Rukchanok pleaded innocent to the charges.
She arrived at court on Friday accompanied by Chaithawat, former Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat and several of the party’s MPs.
Before entering the courtroom, Rukchanok said the court had turned down her request to postpone the verdict reading on Wednesday, when she was due back at work on the first day of the new parliamentary session.
The court convicted Rukchanok for violating both Article 112 and the Computer Crime Act but said she would be punished under the law with the severest penalty – Article 112. She was sentenced to three years in jail for each count. The court said there was no reason to commute her penalty or suspend the jail term.
Chaithawat said he would use his post as opposition leader to seek her release on bail later in the day.
Rukchanok was elected MP for Bang Bon in Bangkok at the May 14 election, earning the title of “giant-killer” after beating Pheu Thai heavyweight Wan Ubumrung in the poll.