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Defamation Suit

Court sentences Sondhi to three months in jai

Sondhi

Sondhi

People's Alliance for Democracy leader Sondhi Limthongkul on Wednesday had his guilty verdict for libel confirmed in an appellate review although his jail term cut in half to three months.



In the sentence reduction, the Court of Appeals cited Sondhi's old age and altruism as grounds for leniency, saying he did not seek self-serving gain by defaming legal adviser Noppadon Pattama.

Following the reading of the appellate decision, the defence had sought and received Bt100,000 bail pending the final review by the Supreme Court.

Sondhi made his critical remarks against Noppadon in 2007, portraying the legal adviser as unworthy of a royal scholarship recipient because he worked for former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Noppadon sued for libel, naming Sondhi, other five individuals and two media outlets on the list of defendants.

The lower court handed down its decision in 2009, finding Sondhi guilty of defamation.

It sentenced Sondhi to a jail term of six months. Two media outlets, Thaiday Dot Com and Manager Media Group, were liable to pay Bt20,000 fine each for disseminating libellous remarks.

Sondhi as well as the two media outlets were to publish a summary of the verdict in three national newpapers, Thai Rath, Matichon and Daily News, for seven consecutive days.


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