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Royal Thai Navy Issues Press Release on Phuketwan Case

Friday, November 20, 2015
The Royal Thai Navy v. Big Island Media Co.,LTD. (Phuketwan.com) Case With reference to the controversial case (Black case number 2161/2557, Red case number 6564/2558) field by the prosecutor, having the Royal Thai Navy as the damaged person, against Big Island Media Company Limited, Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian, the defendants. The prosecutor alleged that defendants had published libelous statements about the Royal Thai Navy on the internet in an article in which the following was printed ''The Thai Naval Forces usually earn about 2,000 baht per Rohingya for spotting a boat or turning a blind eye, said the smuggler, who works in the Southern Thai region of Phang Nga and deal directly with the navy and police'' there by accusing them of being involved in human trafficking by unlawfully accepting benefit from knowingly letting Rohingya trafficking to occur and where the defendants knew that the information was false and that such information was likely to impair the reputation of the Royal Thai Navy and consequently to expose the Royal Thai Navy to be the subject of the ridicule or scorn considered as a defamation by false advertising under Section 328 of The Penal Code B.E. 2499 and a violation of Section 14 of the Computer Crime Act B.E. 2550. The defendants pleaded not guilty. On September 1, 2015, the Phuket Provincial Court acquitted the defendants on all charges, defamation and breaching the Computer Crime Act. The court ruled that the article, in which the information was published, clearly indicated and identified that the information was taken from Reuters -- a credible, accountable and internationally known news agency and thus it was deemed reasonable to believe that the original Reuters author had checked the veracity of said information. Furthermore, the published information was directly quoted from that published by Reuters and thus was not either an expression of fact or opinion by the defendants themselves. Therefore, their act could not be considered that as defamation under Section 328. The court also considered that the defendants did not violate Section 14 of the Computer Crime Act, since the reproduced information gathered by Reuters which defendants import to a computer system was neither false nor was likely to cause damage to third party, public, the national security or panic in the public. Now the case is at the period where the prosecutor may file an appeal.

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One cannot accuse the RTN of rushing to release its "news". Hopefully its command and control centers work in realtime.

Posted by Lena on November 20, 2015 19:53


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