The lawyer council states that a royal pardon for fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra can be sought only after he serves his jail term.
A statement by the Lawyer Council of Thailand said a petition seeking a royal pardon for an individual must only ask for reduction
of penalty handed down by the court, not to refute its ruling.
The council explained no fugitives are allowed to seek royal clemency while no law, even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, supports one to do so.
It pointed out the red-shirt petition violated tradition and the country’s legal system while the group’s claim that they have the right to conduct the activity was only a personal viewpoint because such an action is permissible only if the convict has served his penalty.
The statement said the refusal on serving penalty could create social chaos while the collection of millions of signatures cannot certify the legitimacy of the petition. It said the government should find out whether the red-shirt group has obtained people’s signatures lawfully and if not, its request should not be accepted for consideration.
The lawyer organization also educated media representatives that the royal pardon-seeking procedure has not reached the stage of His Majesty the King’s consideration but it is now being reviewed by the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary and the government.
The council said a royal clemency can be sought when a convict feels remorse for his wrongdoing and accepts the court’s verdict and the legitimacy of the judicial system.
TAN , 20 August 2009