Jatuporn cleared of defamation

The Criminal Court on Thursday cleared leading United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) member Jatuporn Prompan of defamation charges filed by former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Mr Abhiusit's lawsuit filed on June 11, 2009, stated Mr Jatuporn on May 10 of the same year accused him in a speech made before an audience of more than 10,000 people at a UDD rally of ordering soldiers to shoot people.

Mr Jatuporn's speech at Wat Phai Khiew in Don Muang district damaged his reputation and caused the people to hate him, Mr Abhisit said in the lawsuit.

The court dismissed the case on the grounds that there was not sufficient evidence to find Mr Jatuporn guilty and it was normal for politicians of two rival parties to attack one another.

Paiboon Phonoi, a lawyer for Mr Abhisit, said he would appeal the judgement.

Mr Abhisit has filed altogether four lawsuits against Mr Jatuporn for defamation. Mr Jatuporn was found guilty in the first two cases and sentenced to suspended jail terms.

Mr Jatuporn was cleared in the third case.

The fourth case is still with the court.

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