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Thursday October 31, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday October 31, 2013 MYT 8:08:03 AM
BANGKOK: A court has ruled out negligence in the treatment of a grandfather who died in jail of cancer while serving a controversial sentence for defaming the monarchy.
Ampon “Akong” Tangnoppakul, considered a “prisoner of conscience” by rights groups, was convicted for sending text messages deemed insulting to the royal family in December 2011 and died in May the following year.
The Bangkok Criminal Court, which conducted the inquest, said there was insufficient evidence of negligence. It found that Ampon had died due to liver cancer.
Fellow prisoners had told the court that Ampon had not received enough food or healthcare while he was in jail, a judge said, but concluded that his treatment was in line with other inmates.
Ampon’s conviction triggered rare public protests against Thailand’s lese majeste law.
Under this law anyone convicted of insulting the king, queen, heir or regent faces up to 15 years in prison on each count.
Ampon, who became known in Thailand as “Uncle SMS”, was sentenced to 20 years after pleading not guilty during his trial. — AFP
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