Judge Who Shoots Self Removed From Post

Court of Justice sec-gen Sarawut Benchakul visits Yala judge Khanakorn Pianchana in hospital on Oct. 6, 2019. Image: Court of Justice.

BANGKOK — A judge who shot himself in protest of alleged corruption was transferred from his post and placed under investigation Monday, officials said.

Khanakorn Pianchana was moved from his previous post in the southern province of Yala to Chiang Rai – Thailand’s northern province located about 1,700 km away – in an order signed by court officials today.

The order, issued by the Court of Justice, also placed Khanakorn under disciplinary review.


The judge shot himself inside a courtroom in October, moments after he acquitted five men of murder. In a statement prepared prior to the shooting, Khanakorn said he was forced by his supervisor to find the men guilty lest he faces a punishment.


Khanakorn was sent to hospital for an injury to his spleen, but he soon recovered and later left the hospital. He has not spoken to the media since the incident.

The incident sparked nationwide scrutiny into the country’s judicial impartiality, though court officials also maintained their works are transparent and free of any meddling.