Man jailed for insulting Thai king

A court in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai has sentenced a Swiss man to 10 years in prison for spray-painting graffiti over images of Thailand's revered king.

Man jailed for insulting Thai king

A court in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai has sentenced a Swiss man to 10 years in prison forspray-painting graffiti over images of Thailand's revered king.

Oliver Rudolf Jufer, 57, had pleaded guilty during his trialto five counts of lese majeste, or insulting the monarchy, and had faced amaximum sentence of 75 years in prison. 

 

Passing sentence on Thursday, the judge said Jufer had beengiven a reduced sentence because he had admitted his guilt.

 

Jufer, a resident of Chiang Mai, was caught by surveillancecameras on December 5 last year spraying black paint over five outdoor postersof King Bhumibol Adulyadej.  

The defence had said Jufer was intoxicated during the act.

Criticism

The case has cast a rare spotlight on Thailand's lesemajeste laws, which have remained virtually unchanged since the country's firstcriminal code was passed in 1908 despite the overthrow of an absolute monarchyin 1932.

Bhumibol, who is greatly loved by Thais and regardedby some as semi-divine, is protected from reproach by strict laws that forbidany criticism of the monarch.

The vandalism coincided with his 79th birthday, which wascelebrated across Thailandwith fireworks and prayers.

Jufer's trial was held this month behind closed doors tominimise publicity over the case.

During the hearing, one of the lead prosecutors askedjournalists waiting outside the courthouse to leave, saying that it was notnecessary for Thais to know about the case.

Jufer has a month to file an appeal.

Source:Agencies

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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