A judge whose conscience could simply not allow him to kowtow to pressure from his superiors to pronounce guilty five innocent defendants of murder and firearms charges shot himself in the chest inside the courtroom.

Reports say Khanakorn Pianchana pulled out a pistol and shot himself on Friday in a Yala courtroom in Thailand just to avoid unjustly pronouncing the innocent defendants guilty which would mean condemning three of them to death.

A 25-page statement he posted on Facebook before the incident shows that the case he was hearing concerned national security and was related to secret association, conspiracy and gun-law offences.

Khanakorn Pianchana accused his superiors in the said document of forcing him to pronounce the suspects guilty although evidence before him did not prove they were guilty.

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In that same document, “Return the ruling to the judges” and “Return justice to the people” were repeated three times, suggesting the pervasiveness of travesty of justice due to pressure from unseen hands. 

The injured judge was reportedly rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery for injuries said not to be life-threatening.

Well, the option of shooting oneself was extreme, and although he did not die as he had expected, he must have drummed a message home to the authorities.