Australian sentenced to 3 years in jail

Bangkok (The Nation): A Thai court sentenced an Australian author to three years imprisonment on a lêse majesté charge this afternoon.

Lêse majesté, a French term, is the crime of violating majesty, or offending the dignity of a reigning sovereign.

The court’s ruling came as Harry Nicolaides, 41, pleaded guilty to the charge. He wrote a novel in 2005 which concerned royal activities.

Nicolaides was initially sentenced to six years in jail but the punishment was reduced by half because he pleaded guilty.

The court said it decided not to suspend the penalty because the defendant, an author, disseminated information in his book that was offensive to the monarchy.

ABC news online reported this morning that Nicolaides was led barefoot into courtroom 811 in the Bangkok criminal court, chained by the leg and the wrist to another inmate.

In talking to reporters, Nicolaides described the past four-and-a-half months since he was arrested as an “Alice in Wonderland” experience.

He said he was hoping to wake up from a dream and find it all gone. He was visibly emotional as he spoke, saying he wanted to make amends for his crime.

Phuket News
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