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Web designer sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment for lese majeste, cyber-crime law violation

UPDATE: Web designer sentenced for lèse-majesté ill-treated in jail (RSF, 23 August 2012)

(SEAPA/IFEX) - 17 March 2011 - The Thai Criminal Court has sentenced Thantawut Thaweewarodomkul, a web designer for Nor Por Chor USA, to a total of 13 years' imprisonment for violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code (lese majeste) and the Computer Crime Act (CCA), a media report said.

Independent news site Prachatai.com said that Thantawut, also known as Kenny, was meted out a 10-year prison term for lese majeste and three years for violating the CCA on 15 March 2011.

Thantawut has been detained without bail since 1 April 2010. He was charged by the Technological Crimes Suppression Division (TCSD) for posting offensive messages and for failure, as the administrator of the Nor Por Chor USA website, to immediately remove an offensive message.

Police said three offensive comments were posted on the website on 1 and 13 March 2010, two by a user named 'admin' and one by another user. Information provided by the Triple T Broadband Company, an Internet service provider (ISP), revealed that based on the Internet traffic on 30-31 March, an IP address belonging to Thanthawut connected to the website via file transfer protocol (FTP).

Prachatai quoted the court as saying that Thantawut had pleaded guilty during the police investigation but later denied all charges in court. The defendant, however, did not deny in his defense that the IP address belonged to him.

A defense witness testified that if the administrator had taken the name 'admin', then other users would not have been allowed to use that name.

The court said it was convinced that the defendant was guilty as charged because he accessed the website via FTP. Only webmasters or web designers of a website can use FTP for access.

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