FFP deputy leader says he unknowingly shared fake news

Lt Gen Pongsakorn Rodchompoo, Deputy Leader of the Future Forward Party, will be prosecuted by the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) for sharing a fake news item about Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, but he says his action was unintentional.

Yesterday (4 March), Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn of the TCSD said that he will sue 7 people, including Lt Gen Pongsakorn, for sharing a fake news item about Gen Prawit Wongsuwan. The fake news said Prawit spent 12,000 baht of government budget to buy a cup of coffee. The fake news also fabricated a quote by Prawit saying that “it is a high quality import; the poor cannot try this.”

He accepts that he shared the fake news, but unintentionally. The website’s name was similar to a news agency so he clicked share. But once he realized it was fake news, he deleted it within 2-3 minutes and has already posted an apology on social media.

The 7 people will be charged under Section 14 (2) and (5) of the Computer Crime Act. If convicted, they may be jailed for 5 years and/or fined 100,000 baht. Pongsakorn has received the warrant and he will meet the TCSD on 11 March. He said the one who brought the charge is Col Burin Thongprapai, a representative of the NCPO.

Pongsakorn will be deprived of the right to be an MP candidate if he loses the case, but he said he is not worried about it, and is even enjoying it because his opponents are working hard to protect the status quo in every way possible as election day approaches. He believes that democracy will win in the end.   

Pongsakorn is part of the brains trust behind the Future Forward Party who designed their military reform policies, including the end of conscription, 5-year renewable contracts for professional soldiers, and scholarships and career funding after retirement.