A Thai man could face up to 15 years in prison after being arrested for selling copies of a controversial Australian TV documentary about Thailand’s royal family, police said this week.
Eakachai Hongkangwan, 35, was charged under Thailand’s lèse majesté law – which prohibit insults to the kingdom’s monarchy – after undercover police arrested him with CDs containing the programme in Bangkok on March 10.
“He was charged on two counts – lèse majesté and selling CDs without official permission,’’ said Lt Col Nattakorn Kumsap of Chanasongkram police.
“Under the law he faces between three and 15 years in prison,’’ he added.
The documentary was broadcast by the state-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) last April in the midst of the military crackdown on the anti-government Red Shirt demonstrations.
The programme was not shown outside the country and could not be viewed over the Internet, but Thailand warned that the broadcast could affect ties with Australia.
Mr Eakachai was linked to the Red Shirts, said his lawyer, Anon Numpa, who added that his client was released on Friday after his father posted bail of B500,000.
He will appear in court on April 28.