Thai court dismisses first of 4 cases against British migrant rights activist

BANGKOK – A Thai court has dismissed a criminal defamation case against a British human rights activist who investigated alleged abuses at a Thai fruit processing factory.

Andy Hall still faces charges in three other cases filed by company Natural Fruit Co. Ltd. The next trial begins Thursday.

Hall’s troubles began after he helped author a report last year for the Finland-based watchdog Finnwatch on what it called poor labour conditions in seafood and pineapple export companies in Thailand, including Natural Fruit. The company denies it.

The first case against him related to defamation charges for an interview he gave to Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television.

The court dismissed the case Wednesday because the interview took place in Myanmar and Thailand’s attorney general office was not involved into the investigation as required by law.