A veteran Khon Kaen politician and his secretary were on Thursday handed two-month prison sentences for stripping a reporter to his underpants in 2016.
The stripping took place on July 29, after the Daily News reporter questioned Muang Ban Phai mayor Premsak Piayura over photos showing him with a schoolgirl and Bt400,000 in front of them. The photos prompted public speculation that the career politician was engaged or married to the girl.
In response, Premsak locked the male reporter along with fellow journalists in his office and ordered that he be stripped.
Convicted alongside Premsak was his secretary, Second Lt Buathong Lokhan.
The court declined to suspend the jail term on grounds the two defendants blatantly violated laws when in fact they should have set good examples for others to follow.
Several other reporters were detained alongside the victim and witnessed the stripping. They appeared as witnesses for the plaintiff, whose name was not released.
The court was unconvinced by the defendants’ claim that the reporter had deliberately slandered him to secure an advantage for Premsak’s political rival.
“There is no evidence whatsoever to back claims that the defendants’ political rival is behind the case coming to court,” the ruling said.
The victim thanked the court for delivering justice and protecting the dignity of reporters.
“I will keep working for the public interest,” he said.
Premsak and his secretary have submitted Bt120,000 bond to secure temporary release.