Thailand Imprisons American

    Image #: 16225567    epa03027535 A Thai-born US citizen Joe Gordon, 55, (C) is escorted by Thai prison officials as he arrives for his trial accused of lese majeste charges at criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, 08 December 2011. The Bangkok Criminal Court sentenced Joe Gordon to two-and-a-half years in jail for defaming the monarchy for posting translations of a banned book 'The King Never Smiles', by Paul Handley, on a Thai-language website. Gordon was born Lerpong Wichaikammat in Thailand, before moving to the United States for work, he was arrested by Thai authorities at his home in Nakhon Ratchasima, the northeastern province of Thailand on May 2011.  EPA/NARONG SANGNAK /LANDOV

    Narong Sangnak, EPA / Landov

    An American citizen was sentenced Thursday to two and a half years in a Thai prison for insulting the monarchy. Joe W. Gordon, who was born in Thailand with the name Lerpong Wichaicommart but has since become an American citizen, had lived in the U.S. for 30 years before returning to Thailand last year. He was arrested in May for posting a link to his blog to an unauthorized biography of the king, according to the Human Rights Commission. The charge of writing and posting articles that insult the monarchy can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison in Thailand, but Gordon pleaded guilty and cooperated in the investigation, his lawyer said.

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