BANGKOK: Swiss national Andre Xavier Justo, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment for attempted blackmail of his former employer, PetroSaudi International, received a royal pardon on Tuesday (Aug 9).
According to lawyer Worrasit Piriyawiboon, his client got the pardon in conjunction with Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 70 years on the throne and Queen Sirikit's birthday on Friday.
"The announcement of the Royal Pardon was released in a Royal Gazette website last night. I checked with the correctional officer and he confirmed Justo's name was on the list," he told Bernama.
The pardon meant that Justo, who has been described as "a very good prisoner" by the Thai prison authority, will have his sentence commuted by one third. Worrasit said that Justo has served one year of his sentence since he was found guilty by the Bangkok South Criminal Court last year. With the royal pardon, he has another year to serve.
He said the 49-year-old former IT executive would probably serve the remainder of his jail term on parole or be transferred to another prison, depending on the conditions stipulated under the Royal Pardon.
Justo was found guilty in Aug 17 last year after he admitted to attempting to blackmail PetroSaudi International, which had dealings with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The court ordered the jail term to start on Jun 22, the day Justo was arrested at Koh Samui resort island in southern Thailand. He was charged under Section 338 of the Thai Penal Code which carries a jail term of one to 10 years and a fine of between 2,000 baht and 20,000 baht.