3 men jailed for insulting PM Prayut & Deputy PM Prawit

Photo via ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา Prayut Chan-o-cha and เรารักลุงป้อม "We love Lung Pom"

Three men face eight months in prison for spreading fake news about Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.

The incident happened four years ago in 2018 when Prayut served as Thai PM and Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), and while Prawit served as the Deputy PM and Defence Minister.

A court summons was issued to a woman named Wattana Ebbech who posted pictures of PM Prayut and Deputy PM Prawit with insulting messages on a Facebook account for Thai people living in the United Kingdom named khonthaiuk from June 4 to 10, 2018. Wattana still has not responded to the court summons.

The woman claimed that both politicians were trying to access the personal information of every Thai resident and were looking to buy a satellite for 9.12 billion baht to do so. The woman also said that the NCPO government were outlaws and betrayed their country.

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Fourteen Thai netizens reacted to Wattana’s posts and shared the information with friends and followers on their social media accounts.

The Criminal Court ruled the messages were false, created misunderstandings among Thai residents, and made people turn against the government.

The court considered the actions of each individual separately and dismissed charges against 11 of the accused.

The court prosecuted the other three suspects, whose identities had not been reported. They were charged under Section 14(5) and 14(2) of the Computer Act 2007: importing fake information into a computer system, and information that is likely to cause damage to others and the country’s security, or create fear among people.

The three were sentenced to one year in jail but mitigated to eight months as they provided useful information to the court and police.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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