FORMER Palang Pracharat MP Pareena Kraikupt was sentenced to 16 months in jail but this suspended for two years for defaming the leader of a Khon Kaen activist group Mr. Atthaphon Buapat, or Khruyai (head master), Naewna newspaper said this afternoon (Nov. 30).
Pareena, who has been deprived by court of her MP status and banned for life from politics due to deliberate encroachment upon a forest reserve in Ratchaburi, travelled to Khon Kaen provincial court together with Mr. Sira Jenjaka, also a former Palang Pracharath MP for Bangkok, and a lawyer.
The court took over an hour to read the verdict after which Pareena, Sira and her lawyer left for home without giving an interview to the press. However Sira briefly mentioned that he came along to support her.
Atthaphon, who leads the activist group “That’s Enough”, said the court found Pareena guilty of two counts of defamation by advertising, because she had posted the same message twice, and sentenced her to eight months in jail for each count, adding up to 16 months, but this was suspended for two years. She was also told to publish an apology in two newspapers for three consecutive days.
Moreover she was fined 80,000 baht and told to pay 100,000 baht compensation plus interest and 20,000 baht court fee.
“I respect and accept the court’s verdict because the defendant clearly committed an offence. If the defendant wants to appeal, she can do so according to the legal process, which is a right that I should have, but if it comes to an appeal I will ask the court to consider publishing the apology in newspapers longer because I was mistreated and it greatly tarnished by reputation,” he said.
Top and Front Page: Former Palang Pracharat MP Pareena Kraikupt. Photos: Naewna
Insert: Mr. Atthaphon Buapat. Photo: Thai Rath