Sun, Oct 06, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Thai judge shoots himself in court

ABUSE OF POWER?Before the shooting, a statement attributed to Khanakorn Pianchana said senior judges had told him to change his verdicts in a case to guilty

The Guardian

A Thai judge shot himself in the chest in a court in an apparent suicide attempt following complaints about interference in a case he was presiding over.

Khanakorn Pianchana used a pistol to shoot himself in a provincial court in the city of Yala, in southern Thailand, after acquitting five men on trial for gun law and conspiracy crimes due to lack of evidence.

He underwent surgery following the incident.

His injuries were not life-threatening, the Bangkok Post reported.

Before the shooting a statement attributed to Khanakorn, widely distributed on social media, claimed that senior judges told him to change his verdicts in the case to guilty.

This would have meant sentencing three defendants to death and two to jail.

Khanakorn’s statement sparked concerns that senior judges in Thailand’s justice system were abusing their power to ensure guilty verdicts are delivered to suit political goals.

A spokesperson for the Thai Office of the Judiciary, told the Bangkok Post that Khanakorn apparently shot himself because he had personal issues and was under stress.

However, Future Forward Party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul said that Khanakorn had been trying to make claims about the court system public since early last month.

On Saturday, Workpoint News reported that Khanakorn was still being cared for in an intensive care unit in a Yala hospital.

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