Australian writer faces jail for insulting Thai monarchy

January 19, 2009 06:41

Australian writer Harry Nicolaides said Monday he will plead guilty to criminal charges of insulting Thailand's royal family in his 2005 novel, adding that he has endured "unspeakable suffering" during almost five months in detention. The 41-year-old writer was arrested August 31 at Bangkok's international airport as he was about to board a flight home, apparently unaware of a March arrest warrant issued in connection with his novel, "Verisimilitude," according to rights groups. He was indicted in November and denied bail. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy but has severe lese majeste laws, mandating a jail term of three to 15 years for "whoever defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir to the throne or the Regent."

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