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Thai king pardons spray-painting Swiss man

Ten years' jail commuted to deportation

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Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej has pardoned the Swiss man sentenced to 10 years' jail for defacing images of the revered monarch, the BBC reports.

Oliver Jufer was recently sentenced to a lengthy spell in chokey for spray-painting over images of Adulyadej in the city of Chiang Mai last December. He'd apparently been refused alcohol on the king's 79th birthday and took out his sobriety on portraits of Adulyadej.

Chiang Mai police Colonel Prachuab Wongsuk told AP: "The king in his kindness has granted him a pardon and he has been transferred from prison and is in the process of being deported from the country."

Thailand may have shown mercy to Jufer, but it's still pretty hacked off with YouTube. The country earlier this month blocked all access to the site after one wag posted a video deemed offensive to Thai Buddhists.

The offending clip rather sensationally showed Adulyadej compromised by "the juxtaposition of a pair of woman's feet, the lowest part of the body, above his head, the highest part of the body". Thailand asked YouTube to remove the clip, the request was denied, and the plug duly pulled.

Although the poster later voluntarily pulled the vid, Thailand continued to block the site "as two images deemed offensive remained". YouTube last week said it would "not take down material that did not violate policies but would show authorities how to block individual items", the BBC reports.

The site's global communications supremo, Julie Supan, said: "It's up to the Thailand government to decide whether to block specific videos, but we would rather that than have them block the entire site." ®

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