Singapore Media Watch

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fearing collapse, ITV asks for leniency - The Nation

The Nation
9 December 2006

The defence team for iTV yesterday pleaded for leniency, saying the station could collapse and its workers become unemployed if the high court ruled to confirm the whopping fine of almost Bt100 billion.

The Supreme Administrative Court has scheduled its appellate ruling on the case for Wednesday.

"This court's primary duty is to dispense justice and disputed parties should not try to sway the ruling or make hasty criticism in advance," judge Charan Hatthakam said in the final session of the appellate review.

At the centre of the litigation is a contractual clause - Article 5, paragraph 4 - that empowers the station to seek mediation by a board of three arbitrators to revise its concession fees if authorities allowed advertising to be broadcast on cable television.

Based on this clause, the arbitration ruling allowed the station to pay reduced fees and revise programming to favour entertainment at the expense of news coverage. (Read more...)

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