Every little litigation helps
During 2007 and early 2008 several journalists in Thailand expressed alarm at the rapid expansion in the country of Tesco-Lotus, a supermarket chain that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British firm Tesco. They said this expansion was driving small "mom and pop" stores out of business. In response, Tesco-Lotus brought a criminal defamation claim against one of the journalists, demanding US$25 million in damages, and a civil defamation claim against a second, for US$2.5 million. A third journalist who commented in respect of these cases that Tesco "did not love Thailand" was also sued, for US$2.5 million. The MLDI has pledged financial support to the three journalists and has been working with their lawyers on their defence. Tesco-Lotus lost the first case and settled the claim against the third, but it continues to pursue the second vigorously.