08 Dec '11, 2am
American man sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison for insulting Thai royal family
BANGKOK (AP) - A court in Thailand sentenced a United States citizen to two and a half years in prison on Thursday for defaming the country's royal family by translating excerpts of a locally banned biography of the king and posting them online. The 55-year-old Thai-born American, Joe Gordon, stood calmly with his ankles shackled in an orange prison uniform as the sentence was read out at a Bangkok criminal court. Judge Tawan Rodcharoen said the punishment initially was set at five years behind bars, but he reduced it because Gordon pleaded guilty in October. Gordon posted links the to banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej several years ago while living in the US state of Colorado, and the case has raised questions about the applicability of Thai law to acts committed by foreigners outside Thailand.