Premsak's prison term commuted
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Premsak's prison term commuted

Premsak: Prison sentence commuted to detention.
Premsak: Prison sentence commuted to detention.

KHON KAEN: The Supreme Court yesterday commuted a two-month prison sentence given to Dr Premsak Piayura, a former mayor of Ban Phai municipality and veteran politician, to two months in detention for committing an indecent act on a news reporter in 2016.

However, the court denied Dr Premsak's request for the place of detention to be his medical clinic in Pathum Thani province.

Dr Premsak's lawyer is now preparing to ask the court for a new detention venue in Khon Kaen.

The case began when the Daily News tabloid published a story in July 2016 about a rumour that Dr Premsak, who was then 51, had been engaged to a local schoolgirl, paying a "bride price" of 400,000 baht and a car.

After the story was published, Dr Premsak summoned Korsit Kongchom, the local Daily News reporter, and four other journalists to his office -- where he locked them in the room and berated them, saying they had offended him.

Dr Premsak later released the four other reporters but held back Mr Korsit and ordered his aide to strip him to his underwear as punishment.

Mr Korsit filed a lawsuit against Dr Premsak and his secretary, Sub Lt Buathong Lokhan, for indecency and illegal detention.

In 2018, the court of first instance found Dr Premsak and his secretary guilty of committing an indecent act and jailed them each for two months.

The Appeal Court upheld that sentence in November 2019.

The Supreme Court, in its judgement read out at Phon Court in Phon district yesterday commuted the two-month jail term to two months in detention.

It explained that Dr Premsak had pleaded guilty and placed 100,000 baht with the court to compensate for the damage caused to the media.

However, TV reporter Pramote Sribura, speaking on behalf of all the plaintiffs, said they rejected the compensation because they had filed the lawsuit to protect press freedom.

Dr Premsak holds a medical degree and prior to the scandal had forged a reputation as a seasoned politician.

He was elected an MP representing Khon Kaen on four occasions before running for mayor of the Ban Phai municipality.

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