Thai Webmaster Chiranuch Found Guilty for Lese Majeste Comments, but Avoids Jail Term

Thai webmaster Chiranuch Premchaiporn was found guilty of not deleting lèse majesté comments on the now defunct web board of the Thai news website Prachatai quickly enough – she was sentenced to 1 year in prison, which was then reduced to an 8-month SUSPENDED sentence and a THB20,000 (US$ 630) fine.

Chiranuch "Jiew" Premchaiporn, webmaster of the Thai news website Prachatai, awaiting her verdict at the Crminal Court in Bangkok, Thailand on April 30, 2012. Miss Chiarnuch has been charged for not deleting comments deemed insulting to the country's monarchy not quickly enough and could face 20 years in prison. (Picture: Twitter/@thainetizen)

In its verdict, the court states that Chiranuch has failed to delete one comment for 20 days, whereas the other nine objected comments were deleted within 10 days, thus violating against Article 14 and 15 of the 2007 Computer Crimes Act which punishes “false data” that damages a third party, causes public panic or undermines the country’s security and “any service provider intentionally supporting” the said offenses, respectively – despite the fact that the court also states that the expectation to pre-emptively delete illegal comments was “unfair”.

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