The Criminal Court sentenced 61-year-old Ampon Tangnoppakul to 20 years in jail on Wednesday after finding him guilty of lese majeste and computer crimes. The verdict was read out over a video conference link this morning because the Bangkok Remand Prison is isolated by the flooding and Ampon was unable to attend the court. The court found him guilty on four counts under two laws - Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code, widely known as the lese majeste law, and Section 15 of the Computer Crime Act. He was sentenced to five years in prison on each count. Ampon is also known as "Uncle SMS" among those who follow his updates, or as ``Ah Kong'' or grandpa among his acquaintances. He was charged with sending four short messages with offensive content in May last year to the personal secretary of then prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. In his defence he argued that he did not know of or have in his possession the SIM card that was used to send the messages. Investigators insisted they had checked and found the serial number of the mobile phone SIM in question was the same as the Motorola phone Ampon had used for about two years. Ampon was arrested in August last year and charged with lese majeste and four counts of computer crime.
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