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The court has dismissed a charge filed by Boon Rawd Brewery against Ngamsaenluang Singchaloem, a bookshop owner, over a Facebook post alleging that the company facilitated the use of tear gas by the police during the dispersal of a protest on 17 November 2020.

Ngamsaenluang Sinhchaloem

(Photo from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights)

According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Ngamsaenluang was sued under the Computer-related Crime Act, alleging that she imported forged computer data and caused damage to the public by posting the message, “Tear gas was fired from here. The company allowed police officers to go inside and fire tear gas at the public.” Boon Rawd Brewery, however, argued that it had never given permission for this. 

The verdict stated that Ngamsaenluang admitted to posting the message on Facebook, which was also shared on Twitter. However, she denied sharing it herself. The company’s testimony failed to confirm Ngamsaenluang’s involvement in sharing the message on Twitter or proved to the court that the account belonged to her. 

 Upon being told, Ngamsaenluang immediately deleted the post. This showed that she warned protesters to be cautious, without intent to distort or import forged computer data, either in whole or in part, in accordance with the element of Section 14(1) of the 2007 Computer-related Crime Act.

If it is a fact that the company did not allow any police officers or government officials to enter its premises with the purpose of firing tear gas at the protesters, therefore making the message posted by Ngamsaenluang false, it may constitute an offence under a different charge.

The evidence presented by the company can be refuted, as it did not indicate that Ngamsaenluang committed the alleged offence. Therefore, the charge was dismissed. 

Apart from Ngamsaenluang, the other three individuals, Thanakorn Tuamsahgeam, Soraya Tanaputtisiri and Montipa Virojpan, were also sued by Boon Rawd Brewery under the same charge for the same act.

The charges in all three cases were dismissed. In Montipa’s case, the company withdrew the charge, as she was willing to write an apology.

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