Brit 'facing long stint in jail' after fruit factory exposé

For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Martyn Fisher

BY MARTYN FISHER

Brit 'facing long stint in jail' after fruit factory exposé

Andy Hall is being taken to court by Thailand-based Natural Fruit after it filed a string of criminal and civil cases against the 34-year-old

Brit 'facing long stint in jail' after fruit factory exposé

The factory is based in a big pineapple-producing region

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A British human rights activist is believed to be facing seven years in a Thai jail for his part in a report which shed light on alleged child and forced labour at fruit juice factory which supplies the UK.

Mail Online reports that Andy Hall is being taken to court by Thailand-based Natural Fruit after it filed a string of criminal and civil cases against the 34-year-old, the most serious of which was accepted today (24 August).

Hall had previously been acquitted by a court last year on a defamation charge pursued by Thailand's Attorney General following the 2013 report into the country's juice industry - a major supplier to Western supermarkets.

The report, entitled Cheap Has a High Price, centred on working conditions at a Natural Fruit factory in southern Thailand, levelling accusations of forced and child labour, unlawfully low wages and long hours.

The company, a major supplier to the European drink market, has denied the allegations in Hall's report and launched a slew of court cases against the Brit, including a civil case seeking £6.7 million in damages.

Hall stands by his research, and has accused the company of trying to detract from the report's damning findings through legal action.
This latest attempt to prosecute him comes under the defamation and violation of the Computer Crimes Act, his lawyer Nakhon Chomphuchat said. If found guilty, he faces seven years in prison.

Hall told reporters: "I am confident of being cleared of all these ridiculous charges. This is plain and simple judicial harassment."

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