Tue, August 09, 2022

in-focus

Appeals Court endorses conviction of former Democrat MPs for defaming Yingluck in 2012


THE Appeals Court yesterday upheld a Criminal Court ruling against three former Democrat MPs, which convicted them of defaming former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra on their TV programme.

The Appeals Court upheld the lower court’s sentence of a suspended one-year jail term and a fine of Bt50,000 each for Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, Thepthai Senpong and Sirichok Sopha.
The Appeals Court found that the three defendants defamed Yingluck, the co-plaintiff, during their “Sai Lor Fah”, or “Lightning Rod”, satellite-TV show on the Blue Sky station on February 10 and 15 in 2012.
Public prosecutors and Yingluck filed a lawsuit with the Criminal Court in March 2014, accusing the three of defaming the then-prime minister during the shows and causing a public misperception about her.
The Criminal Court convicted the three on August 27 last year and put them on probation for two years after they received the fine and suspended jail terms. The three were also ordered to publish a summary of the ruling in five newspapers for seven consecutive days.
The three defendants appealed against the ruling while Yingluck urged the court to not suspend the jail term.
In their argument in the appeal, the three defendants claimed that the plaintiffs’ lawsuit quoted them out of context and mixed up their quotes from the programme to claim that they had defamed Yingluck.
But the Appeals Court ruled that the lawsuit did not edit the quotes of the three defendants and cited the entire comments made. The Appeals Court said the three used words with special meanings to lead their audience to think Yingluck had behaved improperly by meeting with businessmen at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Regarding Yingluck’s request for the court to reinstate the jail terms, the Appeals Court ruled the co-plaintiff failed to clarify events on the day of the meeting, which was an issue raised by the defendants.
As a result, the Appeals Court agreed with the lower court that the three defendants had good intentions in citing the incident so that Yingluck would clarify to the public what had happened. On those grounds, the Appeals Court upheld the lower court’s decision to suspend the one-year jail terms and put the three on probation instead.
Thepthai said he would consult with his lawyer whether to appeal against the ruling again.

Published : September 21, 2016

By : The Nation<br /> <br />