THREE defendants who shared information found to have defamed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan about the planned purchase of a satellite worth 91.2 billion baht with this material posted on KhonthaiUK Facebook page were sentenced to one year imprisonment, TV Channel 7 said this afternoon (Oct. 12).
Found guilty of violating the Computer Crime Act B.E. 2550 (2007) were Mr. Suthat Pratang, Mr. Sombat Chomchom and Mr. Yod Lasopha. However because of their useful testimony their sentence was reduced by one-third to eight months.
The case against defendants number 4 to 11 was dismissed.
The court was told that Mrs. Wattana Ebbage, who lives in the UK and has yet to be prosecuted, had during June 4-11, 2018 posted defamatory material about the satellite purchase plan on the KhonthaiUK Facebook page.
Beneath photos of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister and then Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan the defaming article stated that the satellite was being purchased to violate the people’s human rights and also obtain benefits in doing so.
Other false statements were also published including one that said the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) was a corrupt government.
It was charged that their action damaged the security of the country and caused public panic in violation of the law, which all the defendants denied.
Although the first defendant had said that this information was obtained from a news agency and that as taxpayers’ money was being used the satellite purchase should be examined, the court stated that although this defendant had read reports on this issue based on what social activist and lawyer Srisuwan Janya had said he also knew that the Defence Ministry had not purchased the satellite.
The exterior of Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek road. Photo: Thai Rath
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