NorPorChorUSA website developer on trial-Prachatai
February 6, 2011
[FACT comments: Don’t miss the real reasons behind these trials. They have little to do with damaging the monarchy. And everything to do with govt control and repression. If we are silent about political trials, if we don’t speak up for free speech, we will soon be Burma with the military firmly in control.]
First hearing of alleged NorPorChorUSA website developer
Prachatai: February 6, 2011
The trial Thanthawut Thaweewarodomkul, allegedly the developer of www.norporchorusa.com, began in Bangkok’s Criminal Court on Friday, February 4.
Thanthawut, 37, owner of a website development company and single dad, was brought to court for his first hearing. He is charged with committing offences under Section 112 of the Criminal Code, dealing with lèse majesté, and Sections 14 and 15 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act.
Thanthawut’s hearing was on the same day as that of Prachatai Director Chiranuch Premchaiporn, and also attracted many observers.
Pol Maj Col Pipat Chawengrat and Pol Col Nithithorn Jintakanon from the Technological Crimes Suppression Division testified as prosecution witnesses about their investigation.
After they saw messages and pictures deemed offensive which appeared on the website on 1 and 13 March 2010, they randomly chose Triple Three Broadband Company, which operates Buddy Broadband, an Internet service provider (ISP), to ask for information. From information provided by the company about their Internet traffic on 30-31 March, they found an IP address belonging to Thanthawut connected to the website via file transfer protocol (FTP). The police presumed that this was an IP address of an administrator of the website.
On 1 April, more than 10 police officers went to Thanthawut’s condominium where he lived with his 10 year-old son. Both search and arrest warrants were brought later and then Thanthawut was arrested. The police seized his two computers, three mobile phones, four memory sticks, three memory cards, one document file, one receipt book and 138 DVDs for inspection but found no information pertaining to the posting of the offensive contents.
They did not check the traffic of the website on 1 and 13 March, as they believed that the administrator was responsible for the whole website. And they did not check other IP addresses through which over 10 other offensive messages in other threads were posted.
The witnesses admitted to the court that the website could have several administrators, and they did not know how many administrators the website had or who was the owner. They only knew that the website server was located in the U.S.
Thantawut’s trial resumes Wednesday, February 8, continuing on the 10th and 11th at Bangkok’s Criminal Court (San Aya), On Ratchadapisek Road opposite Soi 38, Lat Phrao MTR station. Tantawut’s trial will continue in Courtroom 906.
Thanthawut has been denied bail and detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison since the arrest.
WE URGE ALL READERS TO SPEND AT LEAST ONE MORNING OR AFTERNOON SESSION TO SUPPORT JIEW AND KENNY AND TO STAND UP FOR FREE SPEECH.