Former Ban Phai city mayor in Khon Kaen province, Dr Premsak Piayura, and his former secretary were sentenced to two years in prison on Thursday after both were found guilty of locking a local journalist in his city office and forcing him to strip to his underpants.

The two-year long court case ended after the Muangphol Provincial Court in Khon Kaen handed down two-year prison terms on Dr. Prem and his then secretary Sub Lt Buathong Lokhan, for depriving the freedom of the journalist Korsit Kongchom, a local journalist and a news stringer for the Bangkok-based Daily News newspaper.

He was locked in Prem's office room and forced to strip to his underpants as a punishment for taking his photos with a teenage girl in a ceremony believed to be a Thai engagement.

The photos were posted on the Internet and later went viral on the social media, enraging the former mayor. He ordered his subordinates to strip the journalist to his underpants as a punishment for the photos.

After the prison sentence, both were put into custody immediately as no suspended jail terms were allowed.

Their lawyers were this morning trying to secure their release on bails from the court.

Mr. Premsak used to serve as a Khon Kaen MP before shifting to local-level politics.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)