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US Citizen Gets 2.5 Years for Translating Yale Press Bio of King Into Thai, While Living in Colo.

Posted Dec 8, 2011 6:05 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Several years ago, while living in Colorado, a U.S. citizen who was born in Thailand translated excerpts of an unauthorized biography of the country's king, which had been published by Yale University Press, into Thai and posted them on a blog.

Now Joe Gordon, a 55-year-old car salesman, is paying a hefty price for doing so, reports the Associated Press. He was sentenced today by a criminal court in Bangkok to two and a half years in prison for defaming the royal family, after being pleading guilty in October in the so-called lese majeste case concerning King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

His lawyer, Arnon Nampa, said his client won't appeal the sentence but will seek a royal pardon. He was arrested and charged after traveling to Thailand to seek medical treatment.

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