Admin court judge sides with Sorayuth
Mcot Plc should pay more than 49 million baht to Rai Som, the company owned by popular news host Sorayuth Suthassanachinda, an Administrative Court judge said yesterday.
- Published: 16/11/2012 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Sorayuth: In the right, according to judge
Sorayuth has done nothing wrong in connection with advertising revenues from his programmes on Mcot's Modernine TV channel, judge Anucha Hoonsawasdikul said in an opinion statement.
The statement, which is not binding, will be submitted to the panel of judges handling the case who will then consider it before handing down a verdict.
Rai Som filed charges against Mcot in the Administrative Court in 2006, accusing the public broadcaster of selling more advertising time than had been agreed under their revenue sharing deal, and of not paying it at the agreed rate.
Sorayuth faces charges of embezzlement and bribery after the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) concluded that he embezzled 138 million baht in revenue sharing from Mcot and paid Mcot staff to help conceal the records of the actual income.
Sorayuth claimed to have honoured all the contracts and paid back the 138 million baht that Mcot said he owed it. He filed the Administrative Court case to get his share of the excess revenue, he said.
Judge Anucha said the court found that the advertising time had been oversold. He said Rai Som had adhered to its contract with Mcot regarding advertisement revenues. Rai Som therefore deserves its contracted right to a refund of the 30% marketing margin that Mcot collected, he said.
The judge estimated the sum owed to Rai Som, including value-added tax and interest, to be 49.35 million baht.
The judge cited findings from an investigative committee led by Pol Gen Pratin Santiprabhob and set up by former Mcot president Mingkwan Sangsuwan to back his claim.
The probe committee blamed Mcot staff and its internal auditors for making mistakes that led Mcot management to believe Sorayuth had embezzled money from them.
Judge Anucha also said Mcot did not demand any extra advertisement revenue share from Rai Som for over a year, and that a neutral company assigned to monitor broadcast advertisements reported commercial records that were consistent with records from Rai Som.
The judge also said he had found no evidence to prove that an Mcot employee was hired to conceal advertisements, and said that since so many people were involved, this would have "difficult, or almost impossible".
About the author
- Writer: Mongkol Bangprapa
- Position: Reporter