The trial of Australian journalist Alan Morison and his Thai colleague Chutima Sidasathian has begun today on the Thai island of Phuket. The pair have been fighting against charges that relate to the publication of a story on website PhuketWan.com since December 2013.
Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek. Mr Morison, who is a former senior editor of The Age newspaper, said they were facing up to seven years in prison for simply quoting a paragraph from an award winning story by the Reuters news agency.
“I’d like to stay free. There is a prospect of jail. We don’t think it’s likely because we are innocent. But you know, I guess it makes us very concerned about the future,” he said.
Mr Morison and his colleague are charged with defamation and violating the Computer Crimes Act. The defamation charges relate to one paragraph published on the website which cites a Reuters investigative report alleging some navy officials “work systematically with smugglers to profit from the surge in fleeing Rohingya refugees”.