US man Joe Gordon admits Thai King Bhumibol insult

Joe Gordon arrives in court - 10 October Reports say Gordon was denied bail repeatedly

A US man has pleaded guilty in Thailand to charges of insulting the monarchy.

The Thai-born man, who uses his American name Joe Gordon, is accused of posting a link on a blog to a royal biography banned in the country.

Lese majeste is a serious offence in Thailand, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, but defence lawyers hope the guilty plea will result in a much shorter sentence.

Judges are due to sentence Gordon on 9 November.

Gordon, 55, has previously denied the charges, media reports say, but after repeatedly being denied bail he changed his mind.

"I do not want to fight this case. I plead guilty to all the accusations," he told judges.

There has been a series of such cases recently amid growing criticism about the way in which the law is being applied.

In June, Gordon asked US President Barack Obama for help, and US officials have expressed "disappointment" about the case.

"We are urging Thai authorities to ensure freedom of expression," US embassy spokesman Walter Braunohler said.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 83, is the world's longest-reigning monarch and is revered as semi-divine by many Thais. He has been in hospital since September 2009.

The royal family is an extremely sensitive subject in Thailand. Anybody convicted of insulting the king, queen, heir or regent faces long prison sentences.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Asia-Pacific stories

RSS

Features

  • Man with typewriterLove to Patrick

    The official whose over-familiar letters infuriated his boss


  • Man's hands putting ring on woman's fingerName changer

    Why do wives take a man's name after marriage?


  • Person scratching their arm10 things

    Scratching really does make things itch, and other nuggets


  • Corsican flagCorsican mafia

    Are Corsica's days of mafia and militants over?


  • Mobil canopies on the A6 at Red Hill, LeicestershireEnglish heritage

    Zebra crossings to bus stations: unusual listed buildings


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.