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Justo expected to be released today

BANGKOK, Dec 20 (Bernama) -- Former PetroSaudi International employee, Andre Xavier Justo is expected to be released from Bangkok Remand prison today where he is currently serving a three-year jail term, according to his lawyer.

Worasit Piriyawiboon who told Bernama on the expected release of his Swiss client said, Justo has been brought to the Immigration department's detention centre to sort out his travel documents prior to his release.

Justo arrived alone at the department's compound about 11.50 am (local time) in a van accompanied by several heavily-armed commandos.

Approached by the waiting reporters, the visibly relieved Swiss national said he hoped to be flying back to his home country tonight after serving more than a year from a total three-year jail sentence.

"Very happy, I hope to be on the plane tonight and back home tomorrow," said the former IT executive of PetroSaudi International who arrived donning civilian garb of white t-shirt and dark blue trouser.

At press time, he was still at the Immigration Department to sort out procedures where he was also accompanied by several men, most possibly from the Swiss embassy in Bangkok.

According to Worasit, Justo's three-year jail term was cut short after he was granted two separate Royal Pardons, firstly by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in August and recently by the newly-ascended King Maha Chakri Bodindradevarangkun.

The Royal Pardon he received from the late King Bhumibol enabled Justo to commute one-third of his jail term, while the one granted by King Maha Chakri entitled him for early release.

The Swiss national was found guilty by a Thai court in August last year after he admitted to attempting to blackmail his former employer.

The Bangkok South Criminal Court which delivered the verdict ordered Justo's jail term to begin on June 22 last year, the day the Thai authorities arrested him in Koh Samui island, southern Thailand.


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