A judge in Thailand shot himself in the courtroom after he delivered a speech against his seniors who interfered in his verdicts. The suicide attempt raised a lot of questions about the independence of the judicial system. The lower court judge named Khanakorn Pianchana used a pistol to shoot his chest in the courtroom on October 4. The Thai judge was reported by foreign media to be in a stable condition on October 5.
The judge who worked at the lower court of the southern province of Yala demanded a fair judiciary in the case of the 5 accused. His action came just after 5 accused of murder and firearms charges were acquitted, though it could have got all of them a death sentence. As per reports his statement was posted on his Facebook page alonside a video where he accuses his seniors. The statement and video were not accessible to all so the copies of it were circulated online. The spokesperson for the court spoke to the local reporters about the case that shook everyone. He said that the judge's actions were a result of his personal stress though according to many law experts it could support the allegations put by him that the judiciary could be manipulated by anybody.
The statement by judge Khanakorn had many references to the security situation in the south. He even admitted that in an early case, he was forced to be soft while making his judgment on giving sentences to three soldiers who were a part of killing one civilian. He said that he was given an answer that the soldiers were working for the state. There were other issues raised in the complaint by the judge on the pay and working conditions of lower-level judges.
His newly formed supported Yingcheep Atchanont wrote in a post “As one of the people who are campaigning for judicial reform, I always believe that there are judges who have principles and dare to break the system but never know where they are. Thank you for letting us know that our belief is true and that there is hope”.
(With inputs from AP)