21 October 2015

'Finland Plot'

Today, the Supreme Court upheld a previous ruling by the Criminal Court against Manager Daily columnist Pramote Nakornthap. Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra sued Pramote for libel in 2006 after Manager published a series of articles concerning a so-called 'Finland Plot', which the newspaper alleged was a republican conspiracy orchestrated by Thaksin. No evidence of such a conspiracy has ever been uncovered.

Pramote's articles were part of a campaign by Manager owner Sondhi Limthongkul to discredit Thaksin by questioning his loyalty to the monarchy. Sondhi was one of the leaders of the PAD yellow-shirt movement, organising street protests against Thai Rak Thai and provoking the army into staging a coup.

Pramote was found guilty of libel by the Criminal Court in 2009, and given a one-year prison sentence which was suspended for two years. The verdict and sentence were upheld by the Appeals Court in 2013, and confirmed again by the Supreme Court this afternoon. (Earlier this year, Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra also sued Manager Daily, after it printed an article satirising his remarks about potential flooding in Bangkok.)