US citizen faces jail for insulting Thai royal familyOctober 11th, 2011 - 12:40 am ICT by IANS
London, Oct 10 (IANS) A shackled US citizen pleaded guilty Monday to charges of defaming Thailand’s royal family, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in jail in the south-east Asian kingdom.
Thai-born American Joe Gordon has been detained since late May for translating excerpts of a locally banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and posting them online, the Daily Mail reported.
Judges said that a sentence would be issued Nov 9 for Gordon, who committed the alleged crimes years ago while living in the US state of Colorado, where he worked as a car salesman.
The case has raised concerns about the reach of Thai law and how it is applied to both Thai nationals and foreign visitors.
The 55-year-old Gordon, wearing handcuffs and ankle shackles, told three judges in Bangkok: “I’m not fighting in the case. I’m pleading guilty, sirs.”
Defence lawyer Arnon Nampa said earlier that Gordon decided last week to plead guilty after being denied bail eight times.
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