Thursday, 30 July 2015

18th July 2015

Andrew Drummond - convicted and sentenced to 4 months jail.
The Region 2 Court of Appeal in Rayong has confirmed the criminal conviction of fugitive journalist Andrew Drummond on Computer Crimes charges.

Drummond, who absconded on bail from Thailand in January of this year to evade criminal prosecution failed to appear to hear the reading of the verdict and he was sentenced to four months imprisonment and fined GBP 800 in his absence.There is an existing arrest warrant in the case that is valid for 10 years.

Drummond was convicted in February 2015 in a case filed by David Hanks and Drew Noyes and following his conviction filed an appeal before absconding on bail.

Drummond also recently failed to appear in Pattaya Court and following a previous report on this site it has now been confirmed that Pattaya Provincial Court has ordered the convicted British journalist along with one of the supporters to his site, expat oil worker Alastair 'Ally' Cooper to appear in Court on 23rd August 2015 to answer a further criminal indictment on dozens of defamation and computer crimes charges. 

In a hearing this week, lawyers for Cooper have tried to argue he cant be tried in Thailand, but the Court has made an order that Cooper appear on 23rd August 2015 or an arrest warrant will be issued.

The case was filed by Drew Noyes, Drummond was charged in connection with his Web site, and Cooper charged as a sponsor and supporter.


Alastair 'Ally' Cooper

The Court had previously ordered Thai immigration authorities to confirm Cooper's travel to and from Thailand, and to confirm an address to allow Court documents to be served.

The Court accepted witness statements and found a prima face case exists for Drummond and Cooper to jointly face trial. Both men are alleged to have posted defamatory statements online.

After accepting the case earlier this year, the Court issued a summons for both Cooper and Drummond to surrender to the Court early in May, Drummond failed to appear and the Court issued an arrest warrant for him, but Cooper had filed an application to rehear the case. Cooper's application has now been dismissed, and he must appear or join Drummond as a fugitive from justice.

A case filed by Drummond and Cooper against Noyes has already been dismissed by Bangkok Central Criminal Court.

Drummond apparently incorrectly reported the case had been filed by a third party, Brian Goudie, but lawyers for Goudie stated that they have not yet filed cases against Cooper, but expect they may receive instructions to do so. 

Drummond has been ordered to surrender to Koh Samui court on April 20th in three separate cases filed by David Hanks and Brian Goudie and when he failed to appear the Court issued three arrest warrants in Black Case numbers 1247/2556, 1269/2556 and 1826/2556.

Lawyers say the acceptance of the case against Cooper is a clear warning to parties posting comments on Drummond's blog that they can be prosecuted as supporters under Thai law, as all foreigers are required to file an address with immigration authorities.

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