Earlier in February a number of reports indicated that a Swiss man accused of defacing images of the King has been charged with lèse majesté.

ITV, for example, reported (my emphasis added):

A Swiss man is facing up to 75 years in a Thai jail for insulting the country’s king whilst on a drinking binge, officials have said.

Oliver Rudolf Jufer, 57, is due to go on trial in Chiang Mai next month for defacing images of King Bhumibol Adulyadej with black paint on the revered monarch’s birthday. Police are seeking consecutive jail terms for Jufer for five separate acts of lese majeste, carrying jail terms of between three and 15 years.

King Bhumibol is immensely popular in Thailand and is revered as a semi-divine figure by many Thais.

“This is a delicate issue and we don’t want the public to know much about it,” Chiang Mai chief prosecutor Manoon Moongpanchon said.

Jufer has been in jail since he was arrested in December.

Only one Thai newspaper reported the episode after police asked local journalists not to write about it to minimise the disrespect to King Bhumibol, the world’s longest-reigning monarch.

Apparently the trial is due to start on 12 March. I can’t find any better information on this case, and since 8 February there has been no further reporting. Many New Mandala readers will probably be interested to learn more.

As always, your comments, questions and information are very welcome here.

Update (21 February 2007): Over at the Thai Visa web-board there is a post on the incident (accompanied by a photograph of Mr Jufer being led away by police) that was closed by a site administrator. It follows their original thread on the topic which was also shut down.