Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Harry Nicolaides' pardon by the Thai King is pending some paperwork but at least it's in the pipeline. By the end of the week the pardon request can be presented to the Justice Minister and then to the Royal Palace.

Corrections department planning division officer Putthipong Natthajaruwit said "We are waiting for evidence from the court and we will make a petition to the minister and then send it to the King (Bhumipol Adulyadej)."

A human rights lawyer, Somchai Homlaor, said the department's recommendation was very important in that it would clear the way for the granting of a pardon.

Both stories from The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 February. I blogged about the case earlier this month.

Political observers say Nicolaides, whose book sold fewer than 10 copies, became a pawn in Thailand's deeply divided political landscape.

Over recent years the conflict has pitted the populist former leader Thaksin Shinawatra and his supporters against the urban middle class, who accuse the former prime minister of corruption and abuse of power.

The Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who came to power in December, has pointed to deliberate steps to draw the monarchy into the country's political conflict.

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