BANGKOK, Aug 17, 2015:Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo has been sentenced to three years in jail for attempting to blackmail his former employer PetroSaudi International Ltd. He was ordered to serve his three years jail from the date of his arrest in the Bangkok prison. According to the court officials, Justo will serve his three years sentence in Thailand.It was learnt that the court initially sentenced him to six years but following his guilty plea before the judge this morning, he received a three-year sentence instead. The 49-year-old Swiss national with ankle restraints in place, waddled out of court for an unknown destination leaving many at their wits end over what took place at the South Bangkok Criminal Court today. It would seem Justo had confessed to charges read and another date has been set to file an appeal. What charges were preferred and if Justo entered a plea remains unknown to the media and Justo’s friends present this morning. His lead Thai counsel Pranot Kalanuson and team of international lawyers were conspicuously missing from this morning’s proceedings where blackmail charges were to have been preferred against the 49-year-old Swiss national. Three hours after Justo was brought to the courtroom, the 6ft tall Swiss national walked out with his legs cuffed escorted by the prison officials. When approached by media, a man who was identified as an assistant to Justo’s Thai lawyer declined to explain what transpired during proceedings. “I was not allowed to divulge the details until I have spoken to Pranot,” the man, who refused to be identified, said, speaking in Thai. Justo turned up in court at about 9am in a security vehicle clad in a dark pair of below the knee length pants, a peach round collar t-shirt under close escort. He was taken to the King Rama V room, where discussions were underway with his lawyer. The judge arrived around noon and 15 minutes later, the prosecutor and Justo’s legal team emerged. Despite repeated attempts to get the prosecutor and Justo’s legal team to reveal what transpired earlier, both did not speak in English and continued to explain the matter in Thai. In recent days, there were much speculation over what charges would be brought against Justo today for his alleged involvement in a corporate espionage-cum-extortion against his former employer PetroSaudi International. When he turned up at court, hosts of media and his friends had gathered but they were not allowed entry. He was expected to enter a guilty plea when blackmail charges were read, as police had disclosed that the swiss national had signed a confession.
The confession was part of the plea bargain deal concluded between Justo and Thai police investigators.