Criminal Defamation SLAPP In The Face For Thai Media

(MENAFN- Asia Times) Thailand's scrambled media have been given an unsubtle kick in the pants by a senior official in the Office of the Attorney General. Deputy spokesman Narong Srirasan, taking part in a Thai PBS program on Monday, publicly thanked a team from the global Aljazeera network for flying in to cover a community-banking scandal.

The scandal melds banking corruption with the growing menace of the overuse of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP ) legislation. The AG official's comments followed the two-day trial of acclaimed journalist and whistleblower Chutima Sidasathian on three of nine potential charges of criminal defamation, brought by a subdistrict mayor in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) over Facebook posts.

Also read: Is a Thai national bank covering up robbery of its own money?

One of the Facebook posts concerned the activities of another local politician and the prime minister in 2012, before the mayor was elected. But the mayor told the court that he thought the post was really about him.


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