Thailand’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Appeal Court’s acquittal of former news anchor Sorayuth Suthasanachinda on charges of falsifying advertising-related documents to enable his company to pay lower air time fees to the Mass Communications Organization of Thailand (MCOT).
Also acquitted by the high court were Ms. Montha Thiradet, an employee of Rai Som Company, of which Sorayuth was the managing director, the Rai Som Company and Mrs. Chanapa Boonto, a former MCOT employee.
The four co-defendants were charged by public prosecutors with falsifying documents to demonstrate to the MCOT that the Rai Som Company had not exceeded its allotted air time for advertising, aired during the Kui Kui Khao news talk program, moderated by Sorayuth and, hence, did not have to pay extra air time fees to the MCOT, resulting in financial damage to the state broadcaster.
The Supreme Court ruled that the case was a duplication of an earlier case in which the defendants were convicted, with Mrs. Chanapa, also known as Mrs. Pitchapa, was sentenced to 20 years in prison while Sorayuth and Ms. Montha were each sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison.
Each of the defendants was granted bail of five million baht. The case is still pending with the Supreme Court.
After the Supreme Court’s acquittal, Sorayuth left the court without speaking to reporters.