Alan Morison the Australian journalist who has been hounded by the Royal Thai Navy has returned defiantly to Thailand for fight libel cases brought against him and colleague Chutima Sidasathian, the Guardian is reporting today.
Morison and Chutima face trial over one sentence in a Reuters report which they published on the plight of the Rohynga refugees from Burma.
They have covered the issue and the treatment of the Rohingya for over seven years.
For the full story go here.
I wish them the very best of luck in their venture and hope the case is pulled from the court. Alan is unapologetic.
He said: “I don’t see how we can apologise for something we haven’t done. This is just a very unfortunate, misguided attempt by someone with a vendetta against Phuketwan to silence us.”
“We have to run our defence as assiduously as possible, not only for ourselves, but for the freedom of the media in Thailand. This is for all the other journalists in Thailand, and it is for the people on those boats that we have reported about, their stories need to be told, not covered up.”
While I 100 % support Alan Chutima in their fight; subject to a court submission I will personally not be returning to Thailand in the near future to defend myself from actions brought by a convicted thief with a six year prison sentence behind him, a convicted extortionist who is appealing a two year prison sentence, and a former Pattaya bar girl associated with them.
Cases against Brian Goudie, 47, from Falkirk, former prisoner E000274 in Hakea Prison, WA, who has been posing in Thailand as a barrister and a former Captain in the Royal Marines, and Drew Noyes, 60, of New Hampshire, who has been posing in Thailand as a lawyer, can however proceed as my evidence has been concluded.
While the issues of press freedom and the abuse of Thailand’s Computer Crime Act are the same – the cases are radically different.
I am accused of lampooning Goudie by publishing photo-shopped photographs of him in the garb of a barrister, judge, and Royal Marine officer, and also of ridiculing him and Drew Noyes in a gay parade. (No suggestion was made in the article in question that they were actually gay).
|The offensive gay parade photo|
Under Thai law the plaintiffs are claiming their reputations were damaged by the illegal photo-shopping of their images to ridicule them.
I admit the purpose was to ridicule them and that this was a legitimate journalistic exercise. Both Goudie and Noyes had arrived in Thailand making ridiculous claims so set up law offices. Goudie claimed, as stated, that he was a barrister and former Royal Marine officer, and Noyes claimed he had come to Thailand by Royal Proclamation to save Thailand from the Asian Economic Crisis in the late 90s – and that he was a lawyer. But you have to wonder why a court would accept them in Thailand.
My acts are not illegal under British or US law. This site is registered in the UK and hosted in the US by Google.
The plaintiffs are welcome to sue in either of these two countries. A number of cases brought by them have already been defeated.