Thai king pardons graffiti convict

Swiss man jailed for 10 years for defacing Thai king's image is to be deported.

    The king and royal family are
    widely-revered in Thailand [EPA]

    "The king in his kindness has granted him a pardon"

    Prachuab Wongsuk,
    police colonel

    "The king in his kindness has granted him a pardon and he has been transferred from prison and is in the process of being deported from the country," Chiang Mai police Colonel Prachuab Wongsuk said.
     
    Jufer, a resident of Chiang Mai, was caught by surveillance cameras on December 5 spraying black paint over five outdoor posters of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
     
    The defence said Jufer was intoxicated during the act.
     
    Strict laws
     

    Juffer's defence lawyers said he was drunk
    at the time of the incident [EPA]

    The case had cast a rare spotlight on Thailand's lese majeste laws, which have remained virtually unchanged since the country's first criminal code was passed in 1908 despite the overthrow of an absolute monarchy in 1932.
     
    Bhumibol, who is greatly loved by Thais and regarded by some as semi-divine, is protected from reproach by strict laws that forbid any criticism of the monarch.
     
    The vandalism coincided with his 79th birthday, which was celebrated across Thailand with fireworks and prayers.
     
    Jufer's trial was held behind closed doors in an effort to minimise publicity over the case.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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