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Australian writer asks Thai king for royal pardon

THE family of an Australian author jailed for three years for defaming the Thai monarchy said yesterday it had appealed to King Bhumibol Adulyadej for a pardon.

Harry Nicolaides was sentenced on Monday for defaming the king and crown prince in a 2005 novel. The court said a passage about the book's fictional prince caused "dishonor" to the royals and suggested an "abuse of royal power."

Nicolaides' mother, Despina, told The Associated Press from Melbourne that the family has not received any indication yet of whether their plea for pardon will be granted.

"We don't know when really it will be OK for Harry to be released ?? they don't say anything," she said. "I'm worrying sick.

"I hope that they will help us too like they did the Swiss people," she added, referring to the 2007 pardon of a Swiss man who was initially given a 10-year prison sentence for defacing images of the 81-year-old Bhumibol, the world's longest surviving monarch, .


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