The Criminal Court has given a ruling that Thantawut Thaweewarodomkul, the web designer of Nor Por Chor USA, is guilty under Section 112 of the Criminal Code (lese majeste) and Computer Crime Act (CCA), and sentenced him to 13 years’ imprisonment, 10 for lese majeste and 3 for computer crimes.
Top: Thanthawut in detention at the basement of the Criminal Court
Bottom: Thanthawut’s son looking at his father behind bars while waiting to hear the result of the bail request until the evening
Photos from Rasadornprasong Law Firm ( http://rli.in.th/ )
On 15 March, at 11.00am, the court sentenced Thanthawut Thaweewarodomkul, the web designer of Nor Por Chor USA, to 10 years’ imprisonment for posting messages deemed offensive under Section 112 of the Criminal Code (lese majeste law) and another 3 years for allowing a lese majeste comment to remain on his website without removing it.
Thanthawut was arrested and has been detained without bail since 1 April 2010. He was alleged by the Technological Crimes Suppression Division (TCSD) for posting offensive messages and being the administrator of the Nor Por Chor USA website.
According to the police, three offensive comments were posted on the website on 1 and 13 March 2010, two by a user named ‘admin’ and one by another user. From information provided by the Triple T Broadband Company, an internet service provider (ISP), 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), and presumed that that is an IP address of an administrator of the website.
The court said that the defendant had pleaded guilty during police investigation but later denied all charges in court. However, the defendant did not deny in his defense that the IP address belonged to him. Moreover, a defense witness also testified that if the administrator had taken the name ‘admin’, then other users would not be allowed to use that name. And also with the fact that the defendant had tried to access the website via FTP, the court believed that the defendant was guilty as charged, although the record of computer traffic was not that of the date and time of the posting of the messages.
It was reported that Thanthawut’s 11-year old son cried after hearing the verdict.
The defense lawyer tried to apply for bail for Thanthawut with 1.3 million baht (around US$41,000), as was informed by court officials. However, the court later told the lawyer to submit the bail request with the Appeals Court instead.
Anon Nampa, the lawyer, said that he did not understand why this was to be decided by the Appeals Court, as the Court of First Instance always has the authority to do so. As a result, it will take a few more days to know whether Thanthawut will get bailed or not.
Related news reports:
Court to rule on Thanthawut’s case on 15 March
Update on trial of Thanthawut Thaweewarodomkul
First hearing of alleged NorPorChorUSA administrator
Alleged NorporchorUSA webmaster asks to be removed from prison zone for serious criminals