KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 9): Andre Xavier Justo, who was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in Thailand for attempted blackmail of his former employer PetroSaudi International Ltd, has received a royal pardon and will have to serve another year of jail time, Bernama reported today.
The Swiss national got the pardon in conjunction with King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 70 years on the throne and Queen Sirikit's birthday, Bernama reported quoting Justo's lawyer Worrasit Piriyawiboon.
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 Justo had 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.
"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 today.
On Aug 17 last year, Justo was found guilty after he admitted to attempting to blackmail PetroSaudi International, which had dealings with 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
The court ordered the jail term to start on June 22, the day Justo was arrested on Koh Samui, a 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 (RM222) and 20,000 baht (RM2,223).