THAILAND: Sondhi sues CIB chief for libel, malfeasance
The publisher sues the Central Investigation Bureau chief for suggesting he would try to escape summons
Friday, April 21, 2006
By Wassayos Ngamkham
Publisher Sondhi Limthongkul is suing the Central Investigation Bureau chief for defamation and malfeasance for suggesting that he was a wrongdoer and might be trying to escape. A similar suit will be lodged against the Crime Suppression Division commander today.
Lawyer Suwat Apaipak yesterday represented Mr Sondhi, a core leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), in filing a lawsuit with the Criminal Court against CIB commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Montri Chamroon on charges of defamation via advertising and malfeasance.
According to the suit, the officer told the media on April 11, 2006 that the lese majeste allegations made by about 100 people against Mr Sondhi had grounds and there was clear evidence, including television footage and interviews.
The investigators would immediately seek an arrest warrant if Mr Sondhi failed to show up following two summonses. He also alleged that Mr Sondhi had contacted police to try to postpone his surrender indefinitely.
Those remarks misled people into believing Mr Sondhi was a wrongdoer and was trying to escape abroad or buy time through a trip to China, read the lawsuit.
The court accepted the suit for consideration and scheduled May 29 for the first hearing.
Mr Suwat later said he would today file a similar lawsuit against CSD commander Pol Maj-Gen Winai Thongsong for giving an interview on April 18 that the remarks made by Mr Sondhi on March 23 sounded indisputably like lese majeste.
Also yesterday, a lawyer representing the PAD leaders asked the CSD to postpone an appointment for the five core leaders Mr Sondhi, Piphop Dhongchai, Somsak Kosaisuk, Somkiat Pongpaiboon and Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang to hear charges they posed a threat to democracy.
Nitithorn Lamlua said the leaders will be busy with their public addresses in Trang so the police should delay the appointment until May 17. The charges were filed by political activist Chalard Vorachat.
Date Posted: 4/21/2006