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Sondhi gets 2 years in lese majeste case

Oct 02. 2013
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By Kesinee Taengkhiao
The Nation

SONDHI LIMTHONGKUL, a leader of the now defunct People's Alliance for Democracy movement, was yesterday sentenced to two years in prison for offending the monarchy during a yellow-shirt rally in 2008.

He was freed on Bt500,000 bail pending further appeal.

In overturning his acquittal last year, the Appeals Court rejected his defence that he was merely citing parts of a rally speech made by rival red-shirt Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul in order to have her arrested by police for violating the lese majeste law.

The court said that by repeating what Daranee had said, Sondhi was not careful enough and ended up spreading the remarks defaming the monarchy to those who had not heard them yet, so he was guilty of committing a crime.

Daranee is serving a 15-year jail term for what she said on July 18-19 2008, although she is now seeking a royal pardon.

Sondhi addressed a PAD rally on the following day, July 20, when he alluded to her inflammatory comments.

Sondhi’s sentence was reduced from three years, as the 64-year-old firebrand was cooperative during the trial.

The lower court had found Sondhi not guilty in July 2012 as it concluded that the media mogul had no intention of insulting the royal institution.

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