BANGKOK, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- An Australian writer has drawn a three-year jail sentence for insulting Thailand's king, observers said Monday.
Harry Nicolaides, 41, was dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit and shackled at the ankles as he pleaded guilty in a Bangkok courtroom to charges of slandering 81-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, The Times of London reported.
Nicolaides issued a self-published novel in 2005 titled "Verisimilitude," and had already spent four months in jail after being arrested at Bangkok airport in August, the newspaper said.
"This is an 'Alice in Wonderland' experience. I really believe that I am going to wake up and all of you will be gone," Nicolaides told reporters. "I would like to apologize. This can't be real. It feels like a bad dream. I respect the king of Thailand. I was aware there were obscure laws (about the monarchy) but I didn't think they would apply to me."
Nicolaides said he had endured "unspeakable suffering" in jail. He told The Times his novel is a commentary on political and social life of contemporary Thailand.