26 Dec 2012

Thai trader sent to prison over royal rumour

12:55 pm on 26 December 2012

A former equities trader in Thailand has been sentenced to prison for four years for posting false internet messages about the king's health in 2009.

Katha Pajariyapong, 39, was found guilty of three charges of breaching computer crime laws on 14 - 15 October 2009.

AAP reports the messages were followed by a slump in the stock market over rumours about the condition of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

An initial sentence of six years was reduced by a third because he confessed when he was first charged three years ago, despite later pleading not guilty at trial.

A court official told AFP on Tuesday that sentence took effect immediately.

Thailand also has a strict law under which insulting or defaming any members of the royal family is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.