24 Apr 9am: Appeals Court to Rule on Natural Fruit vs. Andy Hall criminal conviction at Bangkok South Criminal Court

Andy Hall’s legal defence team has notified him that tomorrow (Tue. 24th April 2018) at 9am, Bangkok South Criminal Court has informed them by means of a court summons that an Appeals Court verdict concerning appeals by both parties in the criminal case Natural Fruit vs. Andy Hall shall be read out at the Court. Andy Hall does not intend to attend this Court hearing personally tomorrow as he is no longer resident in Thailand and he has not formally been summonsed to attend the court hearing through any official channel or means.

This particular Appeals Court decision follows over a year and a half after the decision by the lower court, Bangkok South Criminal Court, which on 20th September 2016 sentenced me to four years’ imprisonment (reduced by one year and suspended by two years) and ordered him to pay a fine of 200, 000 baht (reduced to 150,000 baht) following his conviction on charges of criminal defamation and Computer Crimes.

These private criminal proceedings against Andy Hall were initiated by the Thai pineapple company Natural Fruit Co Ltd. in 2013. This specific criminal case prosecution relates to interviews conducted in 2012 with migrant workers of Natural Fruit Co. Ltd for a Finnwatch report Cheap Has a High Price, published in 2013. Worker interviewees’ testimonies detailed allegations of violations of labour and human rights by the company against the migrant workers from Myanmar.

For more information on this and the other three criminal and civil cases filed by Natural Fruit Co. Ltd against Andy Hall, see Finnwatch Q&A document, last updated in March 2018 and available at http://finnwatch.org/images/NaturalFruitvsAndyHallQA_March2018.pdf

Also see http://www.andyjhall.wordpress.com which is a case blog for more related and recently updated case information

Recently on 26th March 2018, the Prakanong Court read its verdict in a separate civil defamation case filed against Andy Hall in 2014, ordering him to pay 10 million baht (260 000 euros) in damages to Natural Fruit, including an interest of 7.5% from the date of filing the case until the amount is fully paid. The Court also ordered him to pay 10,000 baht towards Natural Fruit’s lawyer and court fees. Hall has instructed his legal team to appeal this ruling. The ruling was widely criticised internationally, including by both the UK government and private sector European Businesses (see https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/thai-court-orders-defender-andy-halls-payment-of-10-million-baht-in-damages-to-natural-fruit-co for responses to the verdict)

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