Appeal Court Upholds Prison Sentence for Pareena Kraikupt

The Appeal Court has upheld a lower court ruling against former Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) MP Pareena Kraikupt in a defamation lawsuit filed by Progressive Movement spokeswoman Pannika Wanich.

On Tuesday morning, the Appeal Court read the sentence against Ms. Pareena in the Criminal Court, sentencing the former PPRP’s MP to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, and a 66,666-baht fine.

Ms. Pannika, former Future Forward Party (FFP) spokesperson, accused Ms. Pareena of posting a defamatory message against her and then FFP leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit in 2019.

The message, posted on August 4 that same year, said Ms. Pannika and Mr. Thanathorn had been linked to several reported bombings in Bangkok and the three southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani in 2019 as well.

However, Ms. Pannika stated in her lawsuit that Ms. Pareena’s claims were false and had caused damage to her and her co-worker.

The Criminal Court sentenced Ms. Pareena, then from Palang Pracharath (PPRP) by Ratchaburi, to one year in jail. She was also fined 100,000 baht.

But her sentence was commuted to eight months in jail and a 66,666-baht fine after the defendant gave useful information.

The court also suspended Ms. Pareena’s jail sentence for two years, as she had never been in prison.

Ms. Pareena, who came to court to hear the ruling on Tuesday, appealed. But the Appeal Court upheld the sentence handed down by the lower court.

The former PPRP’s MP had faced legal proceedings in the past. In April, she lost her seat as a government MP after the Supreme Court barred her from running for political office for life and voting in new elections for a decade.

The court’s ruling responded to Ms. Pareena’s illegal use of land at a forest reserve in her home province of Ratchaburi.

An investigation showed that her family had set up a 700-rai chicken farm in the public forest. According to the court’s April 7 ruling, Ms. Pareena “severely violated political ethics as an MP by possessing state land.”