Prescription for trouble: Hospital director’s defamation verdict

ajor General Doctor Rianthong Nanna. Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

In a recent ruling, the Criminal Court handed down a sentence to the director of Mongkutwattana Hospital, Major General Doctor Rianthong Nanna, convicting him of defamation offences against Sira Jenjaka, a former Bangkok MP for the Palang Pracharath Party.

The judgement includes a prison sentence of five years and a penalty fine amounting to 100,000 baht. However, due to his historical contributions to community welfare, the court held the prison term for two years, suspending judgement.

Moreover, the court prescribed the removal of all correspondence and content found to damage the reputation of the former MP from Rianthong’s Facebook posts. To make amends, he was ordered to issue a public apology in printed newspapers, with all costs associated with this to be furnished by the hospital director in full.

Rianthong gained notoriety on May 7, 2021, for publicising a Facebook post, wherein he levelled accusations at Jenjaka. Rianthong alleged that Jenjaka, then a Laksi district officer, was intervening in the operations of a field hospital earmarked for Covid-19 patient care, led by the hospital director.

This verdict accounts for the third of a total of four cases derived from the litigations lodged by the former MP against Rianthong, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, the Criminal Court last month discarded a case of defamation that had been lodged by the Move Forward Party (MFP), targeting Warong Dechgitvigrom, the leader of the Thai Pakdee Party. The ruling from the court was based on the assertion that the defendant had acted within his rights, making a critique that was deemed honest and secured by the Constitution.

Accusations were raised against Warong Dechgitvigrom, the head of the nationalist Thai Pakdee Party, insisting he had defamed the reputation of the MFP. The allegations originated from comments he made during a media interview, as well as through Facebook posts. The dates of these alleged defamatory posts were January 20, 2021, and February 3, 2021, Bangkok Post reported. To read more on the story click HERE.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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