'Finland Declaration' ruling upheld

The Appeals Court on Tuesday upheld the Criminal Court's judgement acquitting Sondhi Limthongkul and 10 other defendants in a defamation case filed by the former Thai Rak Thai Party and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra over a seminar on the "Finland Declaration".

Sondhi Limthongkul arrives at the Appeals Court in this file photo from Dec 2012.The Appeals Court on Tuesday upheld the Criminal Court's judgement acquitting Mr Sondhi and 10 other defendants in a defamation case filed by the former Thai Rak Thai Party and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra over a seminar on the "Finland Declaration". Photo by Surapol Promsaka Na Sakolnakorn.

The other defendants included former Bangkok senator Chirmsak Pinthong and prominent academics Chai-Anan Samudavanija and Pramote Nakhonthap, along with those involved in the broadcast of the discussion on the ASTV satellite network and the Manager website.

According to the lawsuit, the alleged defamation occurred during a panel discussion on the "Finland Declaration and Thai Rak Thai's political strategy" at the main auditorium of Thammasat University on May 25, 2006.

On March 24, 2009 the Criminal Court dismissed the case, reasoning that the defendants had not proved the "Finland Declaration" really existed, and that they only criticised the way Thai Rak Thai and Mr Thaksin were handling the country's administration.

The plaintiffs took their case to the Appeals Court.

The Appeals Court today upheld the lower court's decision to acquit all 11 defendants.

Related search: Thai Rak Thai, Thaksin, Finland Declaration, Sondhi, Chai-Anan, Chirmsak Pinthong

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