Court delays hearing

Court delays hearing. According to Bangkok Post:

The Southern Bangkok Criminal Court has postponed the defamation hearing involving British labour activist Andy Hall for three weeks.

Natural Fruit filed a libel lawsuit against Mr Hall for his research, commissioned by Finnwatch, into labour conditions at the company.

Neither Mr Hall nor his lawyer were present at the court yesterday, which had called its second hearing on the case.

The court set May 7 for the next hearing, to allow the company to properly notify Mr Hall of the complaint.

Natural Fruit chairman Virat Piyapornpaiboon, an elder brother of Democrat Party secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-On, and other executives of the company appeared at the court yesterday.

Natural Fruit lawyer Somsak Torugsa said Mr Hall is often in and out of the country.

He produced immigration records which showed Mr Hall left the country on April 1, but said he was photographed in Thailand on Wednesday.

Since it is difficult for the plaintiff to locate the Briton, Mr Somsak requested that he announce the lawsuit against Mr Hall through the print media instead of serving the notice to him directly.

The court rejected his request.

The court instead allowed three more weeks for the plaintiff to locate and file the document against Mr Hall as required by law.

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