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Home >> World
UPDATED: 20:47, June 28, 2007
Thai court punishes Thaksin's lawyer with fine and jail
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Thailand's Criminal Court ruled here Thursday that Thana Benchathikul, a lawyer of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was guilty of contempt of court, local media reported.

The court first punished Thana with one-year imprisonment and a fine of 14,000-baht (411.8 U.S. dollars), but later cut it by half to a suspended six-month jail term and 7,000-baht (205.9 dollars) fine, because he confessed to the charge.

Thana was charged after he gave an interview last year criticizing the Criminal Court over its verdicts sentencing three former election commissioners -- Wassana Permlap, Prinya Nakchudtree and Veerachai Naewboonnien to four years in prison for misconduct in the April 2 election last year.

It is against the law to criticize the verdicts of Thai criminal courts.

The April 2 general election, in which Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party, now dissolved, won by large majority, was nullified last May by the Constitutional Court, calling it unconstitutional.

After that, chief judges at Thailand's three top judicial bodies, Supreme Court, Constitutional Court and Supreme Administrative Court called on the trio to step down, which they refused.

The Criminal Court then in July handed down the verdicts to remove the three election commissioners in effect.

A new election was called and set on October last year, but was aborted when a military coup ousted Thaksin's administration on Sept. 19.

Source: Xinhua

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