The Nation



Arisman gets jail sentence for defaming Abhisit

Red-shirt co-leader Arisman Pongruanrong was sentenced to one year in prison yesterday for defaming opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva by saying Abhisit had robbed political power and ordered the killings of red-shirt protesters in 2009. The criminal court read the verdict yesterday morning, stating that Arisman had violated Article 326, 328 and 332 of the criminal code.

Arisman was granted bail later in the afternoon, after offering a surety of Bt200,000. Abhisit had earlier filed the defamation case against Arisman stating that on October 11 and 17 of 2009, Arisman had made several remarks during a red-shirt rally at Democracy Monument and Government House. People were told that Abhisit had robbed power from the people, ordered the killings of protesters and that the Abhisit administration had borrowed a lot of money, which had distressed His Majesty the King. The remarks were also broadcast on the now defunct red-shirt station PTV. A number of corruption allegations were also made, including about 4,000 NGV buses and the Thai Khem Khaeng project. Abhisit was also accused of delaying the process of seeking a royal pardon for ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra. Abhisit said all these allegations were false and had damaged his reputation.

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