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Phuket Defamation Case: Journalists Given Date

Phuket Defamation Case: Journalists Given Date

Thursday, February 13, 2014
PHUKET: Two Phuket journalists were today provided with a possible court date in a case in which a captain is suing for criminal defamation and applying the controversial Computer Crimes Act on behalf of the Royal Thai Navy.

Phuketwan editor Alan Morison and reporter Chutima Sidasathian were required to attend the office of the Phuket Prosecutor today to learn the date of their next appearance: March 10.

The pair had been led to believe they would appear in court today but instead, they were asked to meet a policeman, who delivered case papers to the prosecutor's office in Phuket City.

According to a document presented to the journalists today, Morison and Khun Chutima are required to next appear on March 10 at the prosecutor's office to hear whether the case against them is to proceed.

If the case goes ahead, the pair may have to go immediately to Phuket Provincial Court. Bail may be requested, the document says.

The journalists have already said that they will go to jail rather than post bail.

Their protest would be aimed at what's seen by them and rights groups as an attack on media freedom. It is believed to be the first time the military has sued the media in Thailand.

The suit revolves around a single paragraph from a Reuters news agency special report on the Rohingya boatpeople, first published online on July 17 last year.

Phuketwan republished online excerpts from the Reuters report later that day, reproducing the key paragraph word for word.

''Royal Thai Navy'' did not appear in the paragraph or in the headlines in Phuketwan or above the original Reuters article. The officer who initiated the suit, Captain Panlob Komtonlok, was also not mentioned.

While the action against the Phuketwan journalists (No. 489/2556) is proceeding, a similar complaint intended for the two Reuters journalists credited with writing the paragraph (No. 490/2556) appears to have been delayed indefinitely by the Bangkok street protest.

The Phuketwan journalists deny any wrongdoing. A brief statement issued by Reuters last year noted that that the news agency stands by its report.

Comments

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editor if you go jail that meen also they will blacklist your from thailand? previous article i read something about falangs that make crimes will also be blacklisted?

Posted by Micka on February 13, 2014 23:45

Editor Comment:

We haven't looked at that issue, Micka.

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You will have to change the name to

Phuketprisonwan.." We give you the inside stories"

Posted by Manowar on February 14, 2014 05:16

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At your age will you really be able to stand the harsh conditions in phukets shockingly overcrowded jail Mr Ed ,post bail your an old soft Australian fight your fight from the comfort of your easy life on the out because once the big steel door slams shut the reality of your situation will hit you and test what you are really made of .

Posted by Scunner on February 14, 2014 10:03

Editor Comment:

You make a lot of assumptions that show you lack the ability to process information properly, Scunner.

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@Scunner, they haven't even gone to court, if this pans out like so many cases, the Public prosecutor will deem, no case to answer, due to insufficient evidence, or no law broken or not in the public interest, this in effect "saves" face for the navy, simply because they can boast that they did their duty, no matter how miss-guided it is. However, if it does go to court, then I guess Alan and Chutima could always go to Singapore, "catch" a cold, then use that as an excuse not to attend court, as per the Red Bull heir. Or, now here's an "idea" they could head to Oz and Chutima can claim political asylum, that could make news headlines globally.

Posted by Laurie Howells on February 14, 2014 10:59

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Hey Scunner! Go and chuck sand up your a***.

Hope this gets by the Ed. It is appropriate, after all.

Posted by Mark Thalang on February 14, 2014 11:31

Editor Comment:

Never heard that one before, Mark. Whatever happened to 'Go stick your head up a dead bear's bum'? I hope you realise that our American readers, who are much more civil, will be horrified.

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@Mark T, I don't like yank version would sound to good "chuck sand up your ass." Feel sorry for the poor donkey.

Posted by Laurie howells on February 14, 2014 12:10

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In English/Oz/American - good luck, and let's hope things turn for the better - for the persecuted Muslims and for you, who had the guts to speak (or quote) out about this scandalous case. Why do other Phuket publications ignore this, one of the biggest stories in years?

Posted by Sam Wilko on February 14, 2014 16:55

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Looking on the bright side, some of your "friends" can come to Phuket prison to let their car be washed by Ed. Still better then get the head washed regularly... *555 Guess a massage from Khun Chutima would not be bad also.

Posted by Lena on February 14, 2014 18:57


Friday December 15, 2017
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