Thai judge attempts suicide in protest over interference


A suicide attempt by a judge in Thailand who accused his superiors of interfering with his verdicts has highlighted questions about judicial independence and fairness.

Judge Khanakorn Pianchana in the southern province of Yala shot himself in the chest Friday in his courtroom after acquitting five defendants of charges that could have condemned three to death.

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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 Khanakorn’s Facebook page, along with a short video of him with similar accusations.

A court spokesman says his action was due to personal stress but several law experts suggest it supported allegations that the judiciary was open to manipulation.