VCD vendor loses lese majeste appeal

The Appeals Court on Thursday upheld a three years and four months jail sentence and a fine of 66,666 baht handed down by the Criminal Court on Ekachai Hongkangwan, a VCD vendor, for lese majeste.

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Ekachai, 38, was arrested on March 10, 2011 on charges of possessing 10 WikiLeaks documents and about 100 VCDs, which contained a segment of a 2010 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) programme, Foreign Correspondent, about the Thai royal family at a rally of the Red Siam Group in Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok.

The Criminal Court found him guilty of lese majeste under Section 112 of the Criminal Code and of violating the Motion Picture and Video Act and sentenced him to five years in jail and a 100,000 baht fine.

The jail sentence was commuted to three years and four months and the fine to 66,666 baht for giving useful information during the court trial.

Ekachai took the case to the Appeals Court.

The Appeals Court on Thursday upheld the lower court's judgement.

Ekachai said afterwards he would take his fight to the Supreme Court.

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