April 17, 2014
BANGKOK (AP) - A lawyer for an American imprisoned in Thailand for translating a banned book about the king says he has been granted a royal pardon, and the U.S. Embassy says he has been freed.
Joe Gordon was sentenced in December to two and a half years in prison for translating excerpts of the unauthorized biography "The King Never Smiles" from English into Thai. It's one high-profile example of the severe punishments given for comments deemed insulting to Thailand's royal family.
Gordon's lawyer Arnon Numpa says the royal pardon was granted Tuesday. U.S. Embassy spokesman Walter Braunohler says Gordon was freed that night.