The following is a statement from the brother of Harry Nicolaides in relation to today’s events.

As scheduled, Harry appeared in the Bangkok Criminal Court today and entered a formal plea in relation to the charge of Lese Majeste against him. You may recall that on 21 November 2008 he pleaded not guilty to the charge. Harry has remained in prison since 31 August 2008 and has been denied bail on 4 occasions.

Harry entered a plea of guilty today and a Statement of Leniency was provided to the Court setting out background matters for the Court to consider before it handed down its sentence. The court was also asked to consider suspending any imprisonment sentence in the event the Court was to sentence him to imprisonment. Harry was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment, which is the minimum term of imprisonment for this offence.

My family is extremely distressed with the outcome and we will now do all that we can to ensure that Harry remains strong, healthy and positive in the circumstances. Harry does not intend to appeal the decision but rather wishes to focus efforts on considering an application for Royal Pardon.

We encourage the Australian government to continue to assist with efforts by the family to seek Harry’s release at the earliest opportunity.

Forde Nicolaides