New Delhi:A Thai judge shot himself in court in an apparent suicide bid after accusing his superiors of interfering with his verdicts.Judge Khanakorn Pianchana shot himself in the chest in the southern province of Yala after acquitting five defendants of charges that could have condemned three of them to death. He was said to be in a stable condition in hospital.The incident has highlighted questions about judicial independence and fairness in the country.
Khanakorn Pianchana made the apparent suicide attempt after acquitting five people of murder and firearms charges in his courtroom in the southern province of Yala on Friday.Mr Khanakorn was rushed to hospital for surgery but his injuries were not life-threatening, the Bangkok Post reported.A statement attributed to him that circulated online claimed his superiors had tried to force him to change the verdicts to guilty.The verdicts could have condemned three of the men to death and sent two to prison. The evidence did not support a guilty verdict, the statement said.Judge Khanakorn Pianchana in the southern province of Yala shot himself in the chest on Friday in his courtroom after acquitting five defendants of charges that could have condemned three to death.A 25-page memo attributed to him began circulating online, accusing his superiors of trying to force him to change the verdicts to guilty. The document was reported to have been posted on Judge Khanakorn’s Facebook page, along with a short video of him with similar accusations.
He acquitted the group, delivered a courtroom plea for a cleaner justice system, before pulling out a handgun and shooting himself in the chest. “You need clear and credible evidence to punish someone. So if you’re not sure, don’t punish them,” the judge said addressing the court and broadcasting his words on his phone on Facebook live.”I’m not saying that the five defendants didn’t commit the crimes, they might have done so…”But the judicial process needs to be transparent and credible… punishing wrong people makes them scapegoats.”