Thailand reporting

BBC journalist faces 5 years prison
BANGKOK: A British journalist with the BBC faces as much as 5 years in a Thai prison after a attorney introduced a felony defamation case towards him over an investigation into fraud on a well-liked vacationer island.
Rights teams say the case exposes how Thailand’s wide defamation and pc crime regulations scupper investigative journalism and make it tricky to show wrongdoing in a rustic the place corruption is endemic.
The prosecution used to be sparked through a September 2015 record through Jonathan Head, the BBC’s Southeast Asia correspondent, taking a look at how two overseas retirees have been scammed out in their homes in Phuket.
Head gave the impression in a Phuket courtroom on Thursday along one of the crucial retirees, British nationwide Ian Rance who’s a joint defendant within the prosecution. Both pleaded now not accountable.
The guy bringing the prosecution is Pratuan Thanarak, a Phuket attorney who featured within the BBC’s document taking a look at how Rance misplaced profitable homes.
Rance retired to Phuket in 2001, married an area lady with whom he had 3 youngsters and purchased what he stated have been some $1.2 million value of homes.
Under Thai regulation foreigners can not personal land. But many get round that provision by way of putting homes within the identify of an organization they personal or with locals they believe.
In 2010 Rance found out his spouse had cast his signature to take away him as director and promote the homes with the assistance of a community of cash lenders and assets brokers at the island. She used to be jailed for 4 years over the rip-off.
The BBC’s Head reported that Pratuan, the attorney, admitted to notarising Rance’s signature with out him being provide.
Pratuan filed a defamation case alleging the studies brought about him to be “defamed, insulted or hated”, in line with a replica of the grievance noticed through AFP.
Rance and Head face one price of felony defamation, which carries as much as two years in prison. Head faces an extra rate underneath Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act, which has a 5 yr most prison penalty.

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