Srisuwan gets suspended jail term, fined for contempt of court

The Supreme Administrative Court on Monday (Aug 21) sentenced Srisuwan Janya, president of the Stop Global Warming Association), to 14 months in jail and a fine of 700,000 baht for contempt of court.

The jail sentence was suspended for three years.

Mr Srisuwan was legally empowered by residents who had been affected by noise pollution as a result of the opening of the Suvarnabhumi airport to file altogether 14 lawsuits against the Airports of Thailand Plc.

The Central Administrative Court dismissed all of the 14 cases.

Mr Srisuwan petitioned against the dismissals of the cases with the Supreme Administrative Court.

The Supreme Administrative Court found that Mr Srisuwan, in the petitions, had used sarcastic wordings with intent to discredit the Central Administrative Court instead of making honest criticisms of the rulings.

The court sentenced Mr Srisuwan to one month in jail for each of the 14 cases, 14 months in total, and a fine of 700,000 baht. The jail sentence was suspended for three years because he had never been given a jail sentence for contempt of court before.

The court gave him until 4.30pm on Monday to pay the 700,000 baht fine. Failing to do so by the deadline means he would be jailed in lieu of of the fine.

This prompted Mr Srisuwan to post on his Facebook page to plead for public donations so that he could pay the fine.

I accept the court’s order. I handle the cases with a public spirit to help the residents without seeking anything in return. But, since the fine is very high, I would like the media to send my message to people all over the country to help make donations. The donations can be made via my KasikornBank account number 693-2-05508-0. Thank you, he wrote.

At about 3pm, Mr Srisuwan’s secretary arrived at the court with the 700,000 baht fine and after paying the fine, Mr Srisuwan was released.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)