Siam lese majeste fosters emerging anti-class revolution
Australian convicted of lese majeste
By: AFP 19/1/2009
- The Criminal Court on Monday sentenced an Australian writer to three years in jail after finding him guilty of insulting Thailand’s revered royal family in a novel, a judge said. Harry Nicolaides, 41, pled guilty to the charge earlier on Monday. He has been in custody for nearly five months.
The charge relates to a passage in a novel titled Verisimilitude self-published by Nicolaides in 2005. The passage is considered offensive to the monarchy.
“He was found guilty under criminal law article 112 and the court has sentenced him to six years, but due to his confession, which is beneficial to the case, the sentence is reduced to three years,” a judge told the court.
“He has written a book that libelled the King, the Crown Prince and Thailand and the monarchy,” the judge added. Article 112 refers to the lese majeste laws protecting the monarchy from insult. They carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Nicolaides, who had previously worked as a university lecturer in northern Thailand, was detained at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport departure lounge last 31 on an arrest warrant issued two-and-a-half years earlier.