Pardon Likely for Australian Journalist Imprisoned for Insulting Thai Monarchy
Australian novelist Harry Nicolaides has been recommended for a royal pardon after being convicted in January under Thailand’s notorious lèse majesté laws.
Nicolaides was sentenced to three years in prison on 19 January for allegedly insulting the Thai monarchy in a 2005 self-published novel, Verisimilitude, in which a fictional crown prince was mentioned. Thailand has lèse majesté laws which place strict limits on what may be said about the king and his family, with strict penalties for those found guilty of insult or defamation. These laws have been the basis for the shutting down of over 2,000 websites as well as an undetermined number of arrests.
Nicolaides was arrested at the airport in August 2008 when boarding a plane home. He has been in prison ever since, first awaiting his trial and then serving his sentence. An appeal to the King for a pardon is working its way through the system and is expected to be successful since it has the support of the Corrections Department.
The book which caused all this trouble sold fewer than 10 copies.Filed under Thai Royals
Tagged Australia, Books, Harry Nicolaides, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, Legal Matters.