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Phuketwan reporters wait for final verdict on defamation case


Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison. Photo: Alan Morison

Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian, of news blog PhuketWan, will hear the verdict on September 1 for charges of criminal defamation and violations of the Computer Crimes Act following the conclusion of the trial in Phuket, Thailand on July 16.

The Phuket Gazette reports that according to the court hearing, the charges stem from a report published on July 17, 2013, which contained excerpts from a Reuters special report alleging that some Thai naval security forces worked with human smugglers to profit from the Rohingya exodus from Myanmar.

In April last year, Mr Morison and Ms Chutima were charged for the report and released on bail. Also charged was Big Island Media, the operators of PhuketWan.

The reporters had spent years reporting and keeping track on the exodus of Rohingya and other nationals transiting through Thailand, people typically trafficked in harsh conditions.

No case has so far been filed by representatives of the Thai Navy against Reuters, the original source of the paragraphs used in the report.

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