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Former mayor gets 2 months detention for indecent act on journalist

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FILE PHOTO

The former mayor who ordered a journalist to strip down to his underwear is now facing 2 months in detention rather than a 2 month prison sentence. The Supreme Court recently commuted his sentence and the former politician Premsak Piayura is requesting a venue for his detention.

In 2016, a rumour spread saying that Premsak, a former mayor of Ban Phai municipality in Isaan’s Khon Kaen and former MP representing Khon Kaen, was engaged to a local Mathayom student.

Daily News had published a photo of Premsak, who was then 51, in what appeared to be an engagement ceremony with a 16 to 17 year old girl. Rumours said Premsak paid the girl a bride bribe of 400,000 baht along with a car.

After the photo spread over the internet, Premsak called the Daily News reporter to his office. Premsak then locked the reporter along with 4 other reporters in a room and scolded them for publishing the photo.

He let the other reporters go, but held the Daily News correspondent in the room and had his aide strip the reporter down to his underwear. The reporter filed a lawsuit against both Premsak and his secretary for indecency and illegal detention.

In 2018, court found Premsak and his secretary guilty of committing the indecent act and sentenced them to prison for 2 months. The sentence was appealed last November. Yesterday, the Supreme Court commuted the 2 month prison sentence to 2 months in detention. Premsak requested that he serve his detention at his medical clinic in Pathum Thani, but the court denied his request.

A judgement by the Supreme Court says Premsak plead guilty and placed 100,000 baht with the court to give to the media as compensation. A TV reporter representing the plaintiffs says they reject the compensation, saying the suit was filed to protect press freedom.

Former mayor gets 2 months detention for indecent act on journalist | News by Thaiger

Photo of Premsak Piayura published by the Daily News in 2016.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post| Associated Press

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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