Convicted former Petrosaudi International employee Andre Xavier Justo will be among thousands of Thai and foreign prisoners granted royal pardon by Thailand's new king, King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradevarangkun.
His lawyer Worasit Piriyawiboon, who disclosed Justo's impending release from prison, said his client met the condition for a royal pardon as he had less than one year of prison term.
"Yes, Justo will get the royal pardon from King Rama X (King Maha Vajiralongkorn). He met the condition for his release from prison after receiving the latest royal pardon, as he has less than one year of his jail term," Worasit told Bernama in Bangkok today.
The Swiss national is expected to be released from prison between three and seven days after the announcement of the royal pardon, which was published in the Royal Gazette on Sunday.
The new king granted the royal pardon to prisoners on the occasion of his ascension to the throne recently, following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct 13.
According to Worasit, with the royal pardon, his client would be able to celebrate Christmas with his family.
To be released before Christmas
"He (Justo) is expected to be released from jail before Christmas and I think he will be able to celebrate Christmas with his family in Switzerland," he said.
The lawyer said the last time he met his client was on Dec 1, where he was informed the probability of Justo getting a royal pardon and be released from prison when the new King ascended to the throne.
"I think he (Justo) would already know (about getting a royal pardon) by now as he has many friends there (in the prison)," he said.
Worasit said foreign prisoners who received a royal pardon, like Justo, would most probably be released after their Thai counterparts had been freed.
The 49-year-old former IT executive at Petrosaudi had also received a royal pardon in August, on the occasion of the late King Bhumibol's 70 years on the throne and Queen Sirikit's birthday.
The royal pardon enabled Justo, who was found guilty by a Thai court in August, last year after he admitted to attempting to blackmail his former employee, to commute one-third of his three-year jail term.
The Bangkok South Criminal Court, which delivered the verdict, ordered Justo's jail term to begin on June 22 last year, the day Thai authorities arrested him in Koh Samui island, southern Thailand.