Darunee guilty of coup defamations

16 09 2009

Original post: A short story in The Nation’s “breaking news” (16 September 2009: “Da Torpedo fined Bt50,000 for defaming coup leaders, former PM, Prem”) states that Darunee Charnchoensilpakul has been convicted in the Criminal Court and fined Bt50,000 for defaming 2006 coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratklin, coup conspirator and PAD behind-the-scenes advisor General Saprang Kalayanamitr, Privy Councilor and former post-coup premier Surayud Chulanont and Privy Councilor and former prime minister and known coup co-conspirator Prem Tinsulanonda during a red shirt rally in   2007. She is said to be set to appeal the conviction.

Update 1: The MCOT News Agency (16 September 2009: “Red shirt activist fined for defaming king’s chief advisor”) also carries a report, making the point that the important conviction was for “libeling the Privy Council president at a protest in 2007.” In addition, it says she was convicted of “defaming … members of the then Council for National Security (CNS) in a speech at a UDD protest at the Ministry of Education on May 31, 2007.”

In her defense, Darunee “claimed her speech was made using the facts and that she had never had personal issues with Gen Prem or CNS members.” The court, however, “ruled that the libelous nature of the content and the manner of the language used were inappropriate and crossed the line of the limit of criticism according to democratic principles.”

PPT will seek out more information on this. We have to admit that while we knew she was charged with defaming Saprang, we hadn’t heard of this list of names for this case. Any information from readers would be appreciated.

Update 2: The Nation (17 September 2009) now has a longer story on the sentencing, where Darunee is reported to have been “happy” with a fine rather than a further prison term and to have regained some confidence in the judiciary. Hard to believe that the latter should be a conclusion based on her horrendous treatment in the lese majeste case. PPT readers will find the report interesting. In essence, the report seems she is convicted of using bad language against royalist big shots….

Contining this theme, the Bangkok Post (17 September 2009: “Da Torpedo fined for defamation”) has it that the “prosecution said Daranee verbally attacked the CNS by saying the military coup had caused great damage to the country.” Is this really giving confidence in the judiciary?



One response

22 09 2009

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