The Criminal Court on Wednesday ruled that Ampol "Ah Kong" Tangnoppakhun died of cancer at the Corrections Department hospital on May 8, 2012 while serving a prison term for lese majeste.
The court made the ruling after the prosecution requested verification on Ampol's cause of death. His relatives had raised concerns that he died because of a lack of proper treatment while in hospital.
The court said it examined evidence and an autopsy report provided by doctors and was convinced that doctors had provided proper treatment for Ampol, who was suffering from final-stage cancer.
Doctors were not present at the hospital on the day Ampol died, but ordered a team of nurses to try to resuscitate him. They tried for 20 minutes to no avail, the court said, ruling that the prisoner died of respiratory system failure with advanced liver cancer.
Ampol was arrested at his home in Samut Prakan province in August 2010 after police found that defamatory text messages had been sent from his phone to Somkiat Thongwattanasuk, personal secretary of Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva in May that year.
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in November 2011 after a court found him guilty of lese majeste and computer crimes in relation to the four offensive "SMS" messages sent to the personal secretary of the then prime minister.
Thousands of mourners, including key red-shirt figures, converged at the cremation of Ampon, whose death focused attention on the plight of lese majeste prisoners.
Ampol had continually denied sending the messages, saying he did not even know how to text a message and someone else had used his phone.
Prominent red-shirt leaders attending the ceremony included Tida Tawornseth, chairwoman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, her husband Weng Tojirakarn and Pheu Thai party-list MP Wiphuthalaeng Pattanaphumthai.
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