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Thai 'Red Shirt' leader given 2-year jail sentence for insulting ex-prime minister

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BANGKOK — A Thai "Red Shirt" leader has been sentenced to two years in jail for insulting a former prime minister.

The court found Jatuporn Prompan guilty on Wednesday of defaming Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva in two speeches in 2009.

Jatuporn is a leader of the "Red Shirt" movement that backed former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and convicted of corruption, and his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, whose government was forced out in another coup last year. The group organized several large street protests which turned violent.

In speeches at rallies, Jatuporn accused Abhisit of ordering the killings of protesters and preventing Thaksin from seeking a royal pardon. The court found Jatuporn guilty of defamation and sentenced him to one year in prison on each charge.

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