Sondhi sentenced over defamation case
The Supreme Court yesterday sentenced former media magnate Sondhi Limthongkul to a year in jail with two-year suspension for allegedly defaming key Pheu Thai member Phumtham Wechayachai on a TV show.
The ruling was revised from the Appeal Court’s 2009 decision to jail Sondhi for six months. In 2007, the Justice Court had sentenced the former mogul to two years in jail.
In 2006, Phumtham filed a criminal lawsuit against Sondhi and nine other parties, including production house Thaiday Dot Com, which produced the TV show Thailand Weekly on which the alleged defamatory comments were made.
Though Sondhi’s time in jail was increased, the Supreme Court decided that since he had not committed any wrongdoings before this, he should be given a chance to repent. Hence, he was granted a suspended sentence of two years.
Sondhi is also required to pay a fine of Bt200,000.
The Supreme Court has also ordered Thaiday Dot Com to pay Bt200,000 for allegedly distributing digitally recorded copies of the show.
Sondhi was escorted to court from the Khlong Prem Prison, where he is being detained since September after being sentenced to 20 years in jail for allegedly forging corporate documents to solicit a loan from Krung Thai Bank in the late 1990s.