BANGKOK, May 22– Thailand’s Appeals Court today handed down a six-month prison term with a Bt50,000 fine for United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) leader Jatuporn Prompan,but commuted the sentence to a two-year suspended jail term for the defamation case against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
The red shirt icon showed up at Bangkok’s Ratchada Criminal Court this morning to hear the Appeals Court ruling on the defamation case filed by then premier Abhisit.
The Democrat party leader had filed his lawsuit against Mr Jatuporn, citing that the UDD leader had made speeches from January 29 through February 15, 2010 falsely accusing Mr Abhisit of ordering the murder of anti-government protesters in 2010 as well as his dismissal from military service.
Regarding the accusations of the dismissal from military service, the Appeals Court said that Mr Jatuporn had no intention to defame Mr Abhisit, prime minister at that time, and that the speech was aimed only at making comments on that matter.
Meanwhile, the court upheld Mr Jutuporn’s six months in jail sentence but gave a two-year suspended sentence on the defamation charge for accusations made against Mr Abhisit of ordering the killing of the anti-government protesters in 2010.
The red shirt leader was fined Bt50,000 and ordered to publish the verdict in daily newspapers for seven days.