Sorrayuth back on air - for inmates only

Sorrayuth back on air - for inmates only

Former TV news anchor Sorrayuth Suthassanachinda arrives at the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases in Bangkok on Jan 21, 2020 to hear the Supreme Court's decision on his appeal. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Former TV news anchor Sorrayuth Suthassanachinda arrives at the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases in Bangkok on Jan 21, 2020 to hear the Supreme Court's decision on his appeal. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Sorrayuth Suthassanachinda has returned to a talk show again -- this time from a prison.

The Corrections Department has turned to the former TV news anchor to get the message on the coronavirus across to inmates in 143 prisons.

The first episode was an interview with health personnel on basic information about Covid-19, followed by an interview with department director-general Naras Savestanan on the issue. The third edition featured him trying to allay possible concerns of inmates about the outbreak.

The programmes were only on air in 143 jails, exclusively for prisoners.

Two inmates in Thai jails have so far been reported to have contracted the novel coronavirus. 

The news anchor is good at simplifying difficult issues for viewers, the corrections chief said in a recent interview with Channel 3 on News Talks This Morning, the programme that made Sorrayuth famous before he was sent to jail.

The former TV star was sentenced to eight years behind bars by the Supreme Court on Jan 21 for embezzling state advertising revenue from MCOT Plc when the programme aired on the station for more than a year between 2005 and 2006.

็He is serving the jail term at the Bangkok Special Remand Prison. He uses his skills to teach other prisoners how to edit and produce shows, equipping them with knowledge they may be able to use after serving their sentences.

All prisons have banned family visits and suspended all outside activities to prevent the spread of the virus. All new inmates are quarantined for 14 days.

Mr Naras said although the prisons are congested, they are safe because they are closed areas.

"None of the prisoners flew into the jails from Italy. We have no returnees from China," the official said, referring to two of the countries hit hardest by the virus.


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