Mar 29, 2007

Swiss Man Gets 10 Years for Insulting Thai King

(Thailand) Swiss citizen Oliver Jufer was sentenced to a 10-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to charges of insulting the Thai king. He faced a maximum sentence of 75 years, but was given leniency for confessing to the crime.

Jufer, 57, was taped by surveillance cameras on December 5 spray-painting over five outdoor posters containing images of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the northern city of Chiang Mai, where Jufer resided. Jufer's lawyer said that he was intoxicated during the act, and that he was angry about alcohol sales being prohibited during Bhumibol‘s 79th birthday.

The Thai laws banning such criticism are examples of the archaic principle of lèse majesté ("offense against a sovereign"), long forgotten in much of the West, but still a feature of life in some monarchies.

It appears that Jufer's best hope is a pardon from the Thai king. Other foreigners convicted of similar crimes in the past have been deported.


microdot said...

I have 2 nephews living in Bangkok and one of them emailed me with this story. He thinks that the king will pardon him and he will hav3e to leave the country. When you are the king, you have to keep up appearances.
In general, the King of Thailand is a well regarded figure. Thailand was the only South Eastern Asian country never to be a part of a colonial empire and the statesmanship of the Kings is regarded to be a major reason why.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Archaic? He's lucky he wasn't beheaded...

Let's hope that microdot's assessment of the king's generosity is well earned and this perp gets a taste of royal leniency. It might even change his attitude towards the monarch ;-)

History of the World said...

It's good to be the king