Former Democrat MP Chavanond Intharakomalsut was given a suspended jail term and a Bt100,000 fine on Wednesday for defaming former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul.
The Criminal Court found Chavanon guilty of defaming Surapong during press conferences held on September 24 and 25, 2011.
During the press conferences, Chavanon alleged that Surapong had ordered the transfers of two officials causing damage to the country in relation to the border dispute with Cambodia.
The court ruled that the facts showed this was not the case and that Chavanond had made the allegations to stir up animosity towards Surapong. The court noted that Chavanond did not mention the allegations during a no-confidence debate against Surapong,
The court initially sentenced Chavanond to two years in jail and a fine of Bt100,000 but suspended the jail term on the grounds that he has never committed a crime.
Chavanond was also ordered to publish an apology in Krungthep Turakij and Kom Chad Luek for seven days.
Suraspong had earlier also sued the two papers, their editor, publishers and reporters for publishing Chavanon’s statements but later dropped the suit.
Chavanon paid the fine and said he was considering an appeal against the ruling.