Police to charge ASTV Manager webmaster for disseminating fake royal announcement

The police have now sought permission from the military court to arrest the webmaster of ASTV Manager, the news website, after the redshirt leader complained of unfair practice by the police to arrest and charge only his member, while ignoring ASTV which also disseminated the fake royal announcement.

Royal Thai Police spokesman, Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri  said on Friday that the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) has now  sought approval from the Military Court for a warrant to arrest Niran Yaowapha, webmaster  ASTV  Manager for  disseminating  a forged statement from the Royal Household Bureau about His Majesty the King’s health.

He said the  police would also charge  him with lese majeste under Section 112 of the Criminal Code and breaching the Computer Crime Act.

The request by the TCSD was made after Mr Niran confessed to police that he did post the fake statement on the ASTV Manager website.

But he immediately removed the post from the site after the statement was found to be fake.

However, the statement had caused panic to the general public, said Pol Lt Gen Prawut.

ASTV board has already demoted him and halved his wages following the mistake.

Earlier redshirt leader Jatuporn Promphan, chairman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD)  called on the police  to take legal action  against the ASTV website for the sake of fairness after the police arrested only Krit Butdeechin, 25,  a UDD member, and charged him for lese majeste and breaching the computer crime act.

The arrest came  after the police trailed his IP address to Phetchabun. He later confessed to disseminate the fake royal announcement, but denied to produce and write  the statement himself.