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The Royal Thai Navy has opted not to appeal but the Prosecutor could

Prosecutor Wins Time to Consider Appeal

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
PHUKET: A judge has granted the Phuket Prosecutor's office until November 30 to consider whether to lodge an appeal against a verdict dismissing all charges relating to two Phuket journalists and a media company.

The 30 days' extension of time - the second 30-day appeal extension in the case - was granted on Monday, Phuketwan has learned.

It followed a letter from prosecutor Miss Pattathira Bhumisutthapon to Phuket Provincial Court, dated October 27.

In December 2013, the Royal Thai Navy initiated criminal defamation and computer crimes charges against journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian and Big Island Media, Phuketwan's parent company, over word-for-word reproduction of one paragraph from Reuters news agency on July 17, 2013.

Charges have not been brought against Reuters or the two news agency journalists who wrote the paragraph, or against other Thai news outlets which reproduced the same information.

Reuters and two of its journalists later won a Pulitzer prize for a series of features on the Rohingya boatpeople in which the paragraph was included.

The two Phuketwan journalists have been reporting on human trafficking in Thailand and the treatment of stateless Rohingya and Bangladeshis since 2008, with their exceptional work noted in several international awards.

Many well-regarded international organisations spoke out against the charges, urging Thailand's military government to intervene and end the prosecution.

The Phuketwan journalists faced a maximum of seven years in jail but on September 1, a judge at Phuket Provincial Court dismissed all charges.

Six weeks earlier, the three-day trial had been told that the case had been based on a poor translation from English into Thai, that the Computer Crimes Act was intended for use against hackers and data thieves, not journalists, and that the Navy had failed to demonstrate that its reputation had been damaged.

On October 29, senior Royal Thai Navy officers met in Bangkok and decided not to lodge an appeal over the verdict dismissing all charges against the journalist and the company.

The Navy had been granted an extra 30 days on top of the initial 30 days in which to consider an appeal.

On October 30, a letter from the Royal Thai Navy informed the Phuket Provincial Court of the decision by the service not to appeal.

Three days earlier, the Phuket Prosecutor's office had lodged its request for an extension of 30 days from October 31 in which to consider an appeal.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Ridiculous, why drag it out? The case is finished and done

Posted by Guenter Bellach on November 4, 2015 18:59

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i think il get more of a sweat up doing the laguna phuket triathlon than alan and chutima will get worring about phukets prosecutors appeal but it is thailand

Posted by bondi on November 5, 2015 02:48

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@Guenter Bellach, Never say never this is Thailand, but I hope the case is finish and closed.

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on November 5, 2015 05:20

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Bloody hell ! Does it never end !?!

You'd think certain parties would be keen to see this disappear ... Instead it looks like they want to keep it hanging over head to make sure we're all good boys and girls.

The prosecutor requested an extension !?! But they didn't even turn up last time ! That's a bit rich isn't it ?!?

Posted by James on November 8, 2015 10:31

Editor Comment:

All part of the process, James.


Thursday November 23, 2017
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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