BANGKOK – Following the high-profile conviction of Ampon Tangnoppakul for allegedly sending lèse-majesté texts last year, government prosecutors have offered the 61-year old grandfather a new deal. Under the proposed agreement, Ampon’s sentence will be reduced from 20 to only 5 years if he agrees to act more evil between now and his incarceration.
“We are experiencing a lot of negative press coverage for this case,” explained a spokesperson for the DSI. “By acting like such a sympathetic character, Mr Ampon is doing irreparable harm to the entire system. We would like to therefore ask his co-operation in being less sympathetic, for which we are willing to reduce his sentence.”
The proposed deal would require Ampon to act belligerently at press conferences, making hostile statements relating to his freedom of speech and the right of the Thai people to express their opinions openly. Ampon would additionally need to retract his statements about loving the king and supporting the monarchy, and instead make vague statements about political mandates and institutional accountability.
Ampon’s defense team would also cease and desist all of its campaigning on his behalf, including the showing of his grandchildren, statements by his soft-spoken wife, and the presentation of any biographical details that might make him likeable to the public.
Amporn’s attorney has yet to officially accept the new deal, and is rumored to be demanding more details first. According to sources, the defense wants the government to provide professional acting coaches to rework Amporn’s image as a bad guy, as well as cash compensation for the burden of a negative reputation.
“Mr Amporn stands to lose a lot in this deal, even if it means his freedom,” the defense said in a prepared statement. “Sacrificing himself for the law may not be in his best interest.”
The prosecutorial team defended its move as being fully within the spirit of the law.
“It is not uncommon for lighter sentences to be offered in exchange for help in targeting larger cases,” the spokesperson explained. “For example, a drug mule testifying to help us catch a drug dealer. Only in this case, an anti-monarchist changing his image to help us protect the anti-monarchist laws. It’s the right thing to do for the good of the country.”