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Finnwatch human rights researcher acquitted of all charges by Thai court

Andy Hall has been in a legal battle with Natural Fruit since 2013, after a report highlighted human rights violations.

Andy Hall
Andy Hall pictured during his trial in Bangkok in 2016. Image: Narong Sangnak / EPA

Thailand's Supreme Court has acquitted Finnwatch human rights researcher Andy Hall of all charges, bringing an end to a years-long lawsuit.

The British researcher and activist faced a 4,300 euros fine and four-year suspended prison sentence in 2016 after being found guilty of criminal defamation and computer crimes.

The charges were brought by pineapple producer Natural Fruit over a 2013 report on the local fruit processing industry entitled "Cheap Has a High Price", which revealed serious human rights violations at the company's plant in Thailand. Natural Fruit supplied pineapple juice raw materials to Finnish retail chains in 2012.

The Supreme Court dismissed the four-year suspended sentence last year.

"We are pleased that all charges against Hall have now been dropped and we can leave this eight-year legal harassment behind us," Finnwatch Executive Director Sonja Finér said in a statement.

"Thailand should ensure that its legislation is amended so that similar harassment through the courts is no longer possible," Finér added.

Finnwatch is a non-governmental organisation that monitors global corporate responsibility.

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