BANGKOK (AP) — The trial of a Thai man accused of selling video CDs of an Australian TV news segment about Thailand's monarchy has begun in Bangkok.
Akachai Hongkangwan was arrested in March 2011 and charged with lese majeste, the crime of defaming Thailand's royal family.
The VCDs allegedly sold by Akachai contained a segment on the Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s Foreign Correspondent series in 2010 that questioned the future of Thailand's monarchy. The segment included footage from a private video of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn with his wife-to-be.
Akachai also was charged with violating laws governing the distribution of video recordings.
His trial began Tuesday.
Thailand's lese majeste laws are considered the harshest in the world, with mandatory punishments ranging from three to 15 years in jail.