Court postpones verdict for Chiranuch to 30 May

On 30 April, the Criminal Court in Bangkok postponed its verdict in the case of Prachatai Director Chiranuch Premchaiporn to 30 May, citing that the case had a lot of documents.  

Many observers were present at the court, including representatives from the European Union and other embassies, and from various organizations such as Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Google, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Front Line Defenders, Amnesty International Thailand (AI), Malaysiakini, SEACAM , Bytes for All (Pakistan), ilaw, FACT, Thai Netizen, Network of Human Rights Lawyers, etc.

Asian Correspondent offered an update on the event on its website.

Before the court announced the postponement, Theeraphan Phankhiri, Chiranuch’s lawyer, told reporters that this case was not only important for his client, but also for other web service providers, as this would set a precedent as to how ‘intermediaries’ should be held responsible.  To punish Chiranuch as a web service provider would force others to set a number of rules for internet users in posting their comments, resulting in censorship of opinions.  Internet users would instead turn to websites hosted abroad, and ultimately the Computer Crimes Act would become futile, he said.

In other countries, the authorities would issue warnings to web service providers with clear deadlines for them to act, he said.  

Chiranuch said after learning about the postponement that she was optimistic.

‘The court probably needs more time to read all documents in detail, so decided to put it off,’ she said.



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