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Thai court passes suspended jail sentence on schizophrenic 73-year-old for royal defamation

Published on Feb 17, 2014 7:31 PM

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand's top court on Monday passed a suspended prison sentence on a schizophrenic 73-year-old man for breaching the kingdom's royal defamation laws, which are among the world's toughest.

Bandhit Aniya was originally sentenced in 2006 to a four-year suspended prison term for committing lese majeste in a speech. But a year later, the punishment was extended to a full custodial sentence of two years and eight months.

He was bailed and appealed the decision, which went to the Supreme Court for deliberation.

Endorsing the 2006 sentence on Monday, the Supreme Court said Bandhit - a former author - was entitled to a suspended term because he was old and suffered from schizophrenia and had not committed other crimes.

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