Defaming Prayut isn't sedition: military court

The Thai Military Court has dismissed a sedition charge against a red shirt who posted a rumour about the junta head, ruling that the post merely constitutes defamation, not the instigation of violence. 
 
On Tuesday, 17 May 2016, the Bangkok Military Court gave its ruling in the case of Rinda Parichabutr, a red shirt woman nicknamed “Lin,” 45, who was arrested on 8 July 2015 for spreading a false rumour through social networks that Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, and his wife had deposited about 10 billion baht in a secret bank account in Singapore, reported Thailand’s Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR). 
 
Rinda was charged on 3 counts: sedition, under Article 116 of the Criminal Code; spreading rumours that might cause public panic, under Article 384 of the Criminal Code; and importing false information into the internet, under Article 14 (2) of the Computer Crimes Act.    
 
On the sedition charge, the Military Court ruled that Rinda’s post does not fall under Article 116, but rather Article 328 of the Criminal Code, the law on character defamation. Therefore, the court dismissed the charge, closing her case in the Military Court. 
 
The two remaining charges are under the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice. 
 
According to iLaw, an organization for legal reform, this is the first case where the Military Court has ruled on defamation of Prayut under the sedition law; most cases under this law are related to political activism. 
 
 
Rinda Parichabutr (source: Thailand’s Lawyers for Human Rights)