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THAI MAN SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DEFAMING MONARCHY | Thailand News Day
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THAI MAN SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DEFAMING MONARCHY

BANGKOK, Thailand -- A Thai man was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a military court on Wednesday for posting six voice clips defaming the royal family online, a court official confirmed to dpa.

Tara, 61, whose last name was withheld by the court and his lawyer, was arrested in 2015 and charged with lese-majesty and computer crimes for sharing voice clips containing royal insults on his commercial website.

Tara pleaded not guilty, saying he used the clips only to promote health products he was selling on his website, as the man behind the voice clips also talked about health issues in his online programme.

Thailand's strict lese-majesty law prohibits criticism, insults and defamation of the royal family, with perpetrators facing up to 15 years in prison per offence.

In June, another Thai man was sentenced to 35 years for posting royal defamation on Facebook, the longest such penalty to date.

His sentence was halved from 70 years due to his confession.

Tara's original sentence was 20 years but it was reduced to 18 since he was already detained for two years following his arrest, the court said.

Tara cannot appeal Wednesday's verdict because he was arrested while Thailand was under martial law.

Tara is one of many civilians tried by military court under the military government that came to power in a May 2014 coup.

The junta deems lese-majesty a matter of national security.

The pro-monarchy junta had launched a crackdown on royal insults, having arrested more than 100 people in the past three years.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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