Don't insult the king

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Posted by Anthony_Mustang on March 29, 2007 at 1:23 pm:

Timely warning to anyone travelling to Thailand.

It was one of the first things I learnt don't even joke about it.

SWISS man has been jailed for 10 years in Thailand for vandalising portraits of its revered king during a drunken spree.

Oliver Jufer, 57, had pleaded guilty to five charges of lese majeste - the crime of offending the dignity of a sovereign - for defacing several portraits of the king with spraypaint in the northern city of Chiang Mai.

He had faced up to 75 years in prison, but the court sentenced him to 20 years and then halved the term because he confessed.

"The court has punished him for insulting the king. This is a serious crime, and he was sentenced to four years for each of five counts, for a total of 20 years," judge Pitsanu Tanbuakli said.

"Because he confessed, the court has reduced his sentence to 10 years," he said.

Jufer's court-appointed lawyer did not attend the sentencing, and Jufer said nothing as he entered or left the court.

Prosecutors declined to comment on the case due to the sensitivities of speaking about Thailand's king.

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