Thailand’s Supreme Court acquits Andy Hall in criminal defamation & computer crimes case filed by Natural Fruit
"Thailand's Supreme Court rules in favour of Andy Hall in criminal defamation and computer crimes case", 30 June 2020
Thailand's Supreme Court has upheld the Appeals Court's acquittal of human rights defender Andy Hall on criminal defamation and computer crimes charges brought against him by the pineapple company Natural Fruit Co Ltd in 2013.
In September 2016, the Bangkok South Criminal Court sentenced Andy Hall to four years' imprisonment, reduced by one year and suspended by two years, and ordered him to pay a fine of 200 000 baht (5 700 euros), reduced to 150 000 baht (4 300 euros).
However, the Appeals Court in May 2018 overturned the verdict by the court of first instance, ruling that Hall had not acted unlawfully, and that based on all the evidence before the court, there was a real possibility of labour rights violations at the Natural Fruit Co Ltd's factory. The Appeals Court also ruled that Hall's research had been in the public interest. Natural Fruit Co Ltd appealed the Appeals Court's ruling to the Supreme Court.
[...] Hall commented from Kathmandu, Nepal:
"I welcome today's final ruling in this case. But after years of ongoing judicial harassment that has taken a heavy toll on me, my family and my colleagues, the verdict does not feel like a victory. My activism for over a decade in Thailand was intended only to promote and uphold the fundamental rights of millions of migrant workers in the country. These workers continue to find themselves without a voice in high risk situations of forced labour and subject to systemic human and labour rights violations in global supply chains. I remain open to reconciliation to put an end once and for all to this continued irrational cycle of litigation against me and my colleagues that remain in Thailand."