First hearing of alleged NorPorChorUSA administratorSubmitted by prachatai on Sat, 05/02/2011 - 18:49
The trial has begun in the Criminal Court of Thanthawut Thaweewarodomkul, allegedly the administrator of www.norporchorusa.com.
(Note: some changes have been made and more details added to the news report)
On 4 Feb, Thanthawut, 37, owner of a website development company, was brought to court for the first hearing in his case in which he is charged with committing offences under Section 112 of the Criminal Code, dealing with lèse majesté, and Sections 14 and 15 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act.
The hearing was on the same day as that of Prachatai Director Chiranuch Premchaiporn, and also attracted many observers.
Pol Maj Col Pipat Chawengrat and Pol Col Nithithorn Jintakanon from the Technological Crimes Suppression Division testified as prosecution witnesses about their investigation.
After they saw messages and pictures deemed offensive which appeared on the website on 1 and 13 March 2010, they randomly chose Triple Three Broadband Company, an internet service provider (ISP), to be the first provider to ask for information. From information provided by the company about the internet traffic on 30-31 March, they found that an IP address belonging to Thanthawut connected to the website via file transfer protocol (FTP). The police presumed that that is an IP address of an administrator of the website.
On 1 April, more than 10 police officers went to Thanthawut's condominium where he lived with his 10 year-old son. Both search and arrest warrant was brought later and then Thanthawut was arrested. The police seized his two computers, three mobile phones, four memory sticks, three memory cards, one document file, one receipt book and 138 DVDs for inspection but found no information pertaining to the posting of the offensive contents.
They did not check the traffic of the website on 1 and 13 March, as they believed that the administrator was responsible for the whole website. And they did not check other IP addresses through which over 10 other offensive messages in other threads were posted.
The witnesses admitted to the court that the website could have several administrators, and they did not know how many administrators the website had or who was the owner. They only knew that the website server was located in the US.
The court scheduled the next hearings for 9, 10 and 11 Feb.
Thanthawut has been denied bail and detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison since the arrest.