US citizen pleads guilty to insulting Thai monarchy

BANGKOK - A US citizen pleaded guilty on Monday to insulting Thailand's monarchy, an offence that carries up to 15 years in prison, but he called on Washington to help release him to support freedom of expression.
Thailand has the world's toughest laws on lese-majeste, or insulting the monarchy, and many of its people regard King Bhumibol Adulyadej as almost divine.
Thai-born Lerpong Wichaikhammat, 55, was charged with using the Internet to disseminate information that insults or threatens the monarchy after he translated an article and posted it on his blog.
He was also accused of providing a web link to a controversial biography by an American author of 83-year-old King Bhumibol, a book banned in Thailand.