BANGKOK – The founder of Thailand’s royalist Yellow Shirt movement has been sentenced to two years imprisonment for defaming the monarchy by repeating offensive comments made by a political opponent.
A Bangkok appeals court on Tuesday found 65-year-old media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul guilty of lese majeste for quoting remarks made by an anti-establishment activist to the crowd at a protest in 2008.
Thailand’s lese majeste law is the world’s harshest, mandating a jail term of three to 15 years. Tuesday’s action overturned a criminal court’s dismissal of the case against Sondhi on the grounds that he was only urging that the original speaker be prosecuted.
Sondhi was released after posting 500,000 baht ($15,935) in bail.
His protest movement helped trigger a 2006 coup that ushered in an extended period of political instability.