Red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan, the chairman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) was today (July 20) sentenced to one year in prison by the Supreme Court for defaming former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in 2009.
The high court handed down the sentence with no suspension of prison term after ruling him guilty of defamation.
The court reversed the rulings by the Criminal Court and the Appeals Court which ruled Jatuporn’s speeches against Mr Abhisit was a legitimate expression of views under the democratic rule.
At the hearing today, the Supreme Court also ordered Jatuporn to publish apologies to Mr Abhisit in newspapers for seven days.
Jatuporn was later escorted by correction officials into a prison truck to serve his one year sentence in the Bangkok Remand Prison.
Mr Abhisit brought a case in the court in June 2009 accusing Jatuporn of defaming him in front of tens of thousands of people at Way Phai Kiew temple in Don Mueang in Bangkok in May 10, 2009.
In the suit, Mr Abhisit said Jatuporn called him tyrant whose hands are tainted with blood. Jatuporn also accused Mr Abhit of ordering the killing of anti-government demonstrators.