THAILAND: Manager sued for articles on 'Finland plot'

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra files libel suit against Manager newspaper for alleging that he had plans to take control of Thailand's government

Bangkok Post
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his Thai Rak Thai party yesterday sued the owner of the Manager daily, its editor, a columnist and two executives for libel over a series of articles about the so-called Finland conspiracy -- Mr Thaksin's alleged five-step plan to take control of Thailand. A lawyer for the party and Mr Thaksin, Thana Benjathikul, filed the lawsuit in the Criminal Court against columnist Pramote Nakhonthap, the Manager Media Group which owns the daily, Manager daily editor Khunthong Lorserivanich, executive Saowalak Thiranujanyong and webmaster Panjapat Angkhasuwan.

The lawsuit says the five had conspired to publish Mr Pramote's five-episode article "Finland Strategy: Thailand's Revolution Plan?" in the daily on May 17, 19, 22, 23 and 24 and on its website, http://www.manager.co.th, on May 18, 21, 22 and 23.

The article alleged Mr Thaksin and other Thai Rak Thai co-founders meeting in Finland had devised a conspiracy to replace Thailand's constitutional monarchy with a regime dominated by Mr Thaksin and Thai Rak Thai.

The lawsuit says the article was intended to ruin Thai Rak Thai and Mr Thaksin's political future by making the public believe the party was planning to overturn the constitutional monarchy.

The court accepted the lawsuit for consideration and set Aug 7 for the first examination.