Supreme Court halves Jatuporn’s prison term for defaming former PM Abhisit

The Supreme Court today (Dec 14) halved jail sentence for red shirt leader Jatuporn Phromphan after his testimonies in defamation case against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is beneficial to the trial.

The verdict revised the prison term handed down on Jatuporn by the Criminal Court and the Appeals Court from two years to one year in two counts of charges against Mr Abhisit.

Jatuporn was escorted from the prison to the Supreme Court this morning to hear his appeal for leniency.

He looked thin and pale as he appeared in court in prison clothes to hear final rulings in the defamation cases.

Jatuporn was sentenced to two years in prison for the two counts, each for one year by the two lower courts.

But today the Supreme Court halved the jail term to six months on each count as Jatuporn confessed during the Supreme Court hearing to making the speeches accusing Abhisit, or 12 months in total.

Jatuporn’s request for suspended sentence was however rejected.

Jatuporn made the allegations during the red shirt demonstrations on October 11 and 17 in 2009 when Mr Abhisit, the Democrat Party leader, was prime minister. He called Abhisit a murderer for ordering suppression of demonstrators by force.

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.