Thai radio host jailed for royal defamation

Thursday 11 December, 2014


A Thai radio host has been jailed for five years for royal defamation, one of the first sentences passed by the military court since the May coup.



Kathawut, 59, presents an online radio show from overseas and was arrested on his return to Thailand in June for defaming the monarchy on his program, according to his lawyer.



Under Thailand's strict lese majeste rules anyone convicted of insulting the king, queen, heir or regent faces up to 15 years in prison on each count.



Shortly after seizing power on May 22, the junta vowed a crackdown on lese majeste offences.



"Initially the military court sentenced him to 10 years in prison but as he confessed, the judge halved the sentence to five years," said the lawyer, who did not identify the accused by his surname for fear of reprisals against his family.


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