Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday, February 03, 2014

British journalist Andrew Drummond was today further acquitted of libel under the Computer Crime Act but a charge ruled him guilty of criminal libel for allowing two letters sent in by readers to be posted on the site

He is appealing the latter judgment.

Drummond was fined 40,000 baht and given a four month prison sentence suspended for one year and ordered to publish the judgment in the Thai Rath and Pattaya Times newspaper.

The order was later changed after the judge was told that the Pattaya Times, founded by one of the plaintiff’s Drew Noyes, was now defunct. The paper was substituted with the Pattaya Mail – not the Pattaya People, as expected.

The judge specified that Drummond had committed no libel himself but by allowing a post has 'supported' a libel by someone else.

The case revolved around comment by two readers who suggested at the end of a news story involving Pattaya 'businessmen' Drew Noyes and David Hanks, that plaintiff David Hanks, a Scot from Girvan, Ayrshire was a former pimp from Australia.

The comments further suggested that Noyes had mia nois, was living with a girl from the Buffalo in Pattaya, and was also a pimp.

Drummond produced documents from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission showing that David Hanks was indeed the former owner of Masquerades brothel on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia.

Hanks admitted this in court but said his brothel was run by Chinese and the girls were all treated well. However he admitted at the license holder of the brothel it was his responsibility.

Of the comments made by a Ms Saunders and Tony, Drummond told the court that he did not consider the comments libellous but that his story was published in the public interest.  He himself had named David Hanks in the story as a former pimp but Hanks had not sued him over that statement.

Noyes, he said, was already in court in Pattaya on two cases involving dishonesty.  Using the word ‘pimp’ in his case did not necessarily mean he ran a brothel. The word had several slang meanings. When he himself referred to Hanks as a pimp he said, he stipulated the brothel so there could be no misinterpretation. In any case he had removed the comments.

Ex pimp or not?
Drummond’s fine was paid by well wishers. He announced he will be appealing the decision.

“Of course I respect the decision of the court but there are contradictions in the judgment which require legal scrutiny. Why was I acquitted of Computer Crime Libel but convicted under the older criminal libel laws?

"This is an international site.  Does this now mean that the editor of the letters page of the online versions of the Times, Sunday Times or New York Times, can be sued in Thailand or anywhere?

“There is also the consideration that Hanks admitted that he was the licensed owner of a brothel – a matter he was at pains to disguise when the case was accepted by the court yet that was the sole point he sued me on. I think this may be a Thai compromise decision.

"The court is returning my bail and the sentence is light - but I need to seek the opinion of the higher court so journalist know exactly what the ground rules.

"While I need to watch posters on my site closely this will not stop the exposure of a certain kind of foreigner on this site."

The full judgment will be published on this site in English. Meanwhile Drummond thanks the supporters who continue pay for his defence.

So far Andrew Drummond has survived and won an onslaught of cases brought by American Drew Noyes, who was exposed before he came to Thailand by the Morning Star in North Carolina, Brian Goudie, who was jailed for fraud in Australia - and Drew Noyes 'wife' Wanrapa Boonsu. He has been acquitted and cases have been dismissed in eight cases."


The Weapon said...

This is a very ambiguous verdict. It must certainly be appealed, Brian is gloating on his blog. As if it's going to help him in all his cases. In a higher court I can see this being overturned. I'd be trying to get some international exposure about this. These reprobates are making a mockery of the law.

Cato Watson said...

At least you can sleep at night Andrew... at least you can return back to the UK unlike some who would be arrested on the spot returning to their native land! You still come out the winner!

Gerry westerby said...

As ever, the truth is insufficient in this rather odd, little country. Why on earth you bother is beyond me. The scoundrels who plague Thailand, preying upon the gullible, the vulnerable and the naive, will always win in the end. Thailand is the perfect venue for them and there can never be true justice.
Dreadful place really and only suitable as a tourist destination.

Tim said...

I don't this verdict will bear much scrutiny. Hopefully the FCCT will at least issue a statement if not kick up a fuss.

The Weapon said...

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it - always.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.”

― Albert Einstein

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

― Edmund Burke

requiem mass said...

It's obviously a Thai compromise.

Drew is almost certainly going to jail for extortion. This is a little "win" so when the judge rules against Noyes, the judge can tell Noyes that he already gave him a win and that he should be happy for that.

Seems to me a chance to talk about Drew Noyes in those papers in the guise of an apology might be a fun thing to write. Perhaps you should start a contest for the best apology letter with the best of the entries posted up on here, then let us vote on them.

Lee said...

This is a good result Drummond and perhaps due to a certain amount of Noyes lobbying locally.. Not great for Noyes rep though, this is what a 10% success rate for him and one stop services? and of course the favours have already been done, where does that leave Noyes extortion trial? And now personally you get to take this issue beyond the Pattaya courts and into the wider national audience, Thai Rath readers will get to hear about you and your struggle! Of course you are laughing at this (I would be), it's the national level that will hopefully result in something being done about these scam artists!

Tim said...

It's interesting that one of the people urging Drew on, on his Facebook page, is none other than Ray Teret. He's going on about the Bangkok times. A former flatmate of Britain's most notorious sex offender, Jimmy Savile. A man facing multiple counts of raping children.

You can always tell a man's character by the company he keeps. I can only hope for his children's sake that he's not exposed them to some of these 'characters'

Born2Serf said...

Seeing as he is highly unlikely to ever occupy it, why don't you put in a pre-emptive reservation on the Man from Montenegro's condo-cell?

The Weapon said...

There is a higher court than a court of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts. Few men have the ability to change history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from selfless, diverse acts of courage and belief that human society is shaped. Each time a righteous man stands up against wrong doers, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sets an example for others to follow. His courage is infinitely more powerful than the cowards who prey on the innocent and vulnerable.

Justice is neither automatic nor inevitable. The evolution towards the goal of real justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle. The tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

At times it can be totally depressing to see corrupt people abusing a corrupt system but in the end karma will pick up the slack and all will be set right. Every scripture tells us that.

Not in the sky, nor in mid-ocean, nor in a mountain cave, is found that place on earth where abiding one may escape from the consequences of one's evil deed.

Buddhism. Dhammapada 127

According to one’s deeds, according to one’s behaviour, so one becomes. The one who does good becomes good, the one who does evil becomes evil. One becomes virtuous by virtuous action and evil by evil action.

Śukla Yajur Veda, Bṛihadāraṇyaka Upanishad,

As sweet as honey is an evil deed, so thinks the fool so long as it ripens not; but when it ripens, then he comes to grief. Verily, an evil deed committed does not immediately bear fruit, just as milk does not curdle at once; but like a smoldering fire covered with ashes, it remains with the fool until the moment it ignites and burns him.

Buddhism. Dhammapada 69, 71

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Christianity. Bible, Galatians 6.7

Whatever affliction may visit you is for what your own hands have earned.

Islam. Qur'an 42.30

Ashes fly back in the face of him who throws them.

African Traditional Religions. Yoruba Proverb

An ignorant man committing evil deeds does not realize the consequences. The imprudent man is consumed by his own deeds, like one burnt by fire.

Buddhism. Dhammapada 136

Men who acquire wealth by evil deeds, by adhering to principles which are wrong, fall into the trap of their own passions and fettered with karma they sink further down.

Jainism. Uttaradhyayana Sutra 4.2

A man who has committed one of the deadly sins will never again, until his death, lose the thought of that action; he cannot get rid of it or remove it, but it follows after him until the time of his death.

Buddhism. Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines 17.3

Unrighteousness, practised in this world, does not at once produce its fruit; but, like a cow, advancing slowly, it cuts off the roots of him who committed it.

Hinduism. Laws of Manu 4.172

Even if they attain to sovereignty, the wicked, engaged in cruel deeds, condemned by all men, do not enjoy it long, but fall like trees whose roots have been severed. O dweller in darkness, as in its proper season the tree puts forth its flowers, so in the course of time evil actions produce bitter fruit.

Hinduism. Ramayana, Aranya Kanda 29

Even if the wrong-doers had all that there is on earth, and as much more, in vain would they offer it for ransom from the pain of the penalty on the Day of Judgement, but something will confront them from God which they could never have counted upon! For the evils of their deeds will confront them, and they will be encircled by that which they used to mock!

Islam. Qur'an 39.47-48

Ally said...

This has got be seen as a victory. You're still free and reporting...however Brian Goldie is on the run from Thai take heart from that.
There is the appeal and I'm sure justice will eventually be done.

Ally said...

I see we cant post on GOLDIES new blog site now.......COWARD!!!!!

Andrew Drummond said...

Actually i have just come out of a meeting with lawyers. They are not concerned with this verdict at all. It strangely puts us in control of the case now. We are appealing and I am happy I will win at appeal. Also got my bail back. We will be taking action against a recent defamatory and inaccurate blog by Goudie giving a false result to the case. So I am financially better off and the Appeal system is going much faster.

Andrew Drummond said...

This thread is now closed for comments - as further legal proceedings are pending