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Confusion reigned yesterday over the verdict day for Joe Gordon, a dual Thai-US citizen charged under the lese majeste law and Computer Crimes Act, when US Embassy personnel and Gordon's lawyer appeared at the Criminal Court - only to be told the ruling on his prosecution would be handed down next Thursday, December 8.

Gordon was arrested in May this year for translating the banned book 'The King Never Smiles' and posting a link to it. The defendant, whose Thai name is Lerphong Wichaikammart, confessed to the charges during his trial. He was transported from prison to the court yesterday morning. Asked by The Nation if he felt confident about getting a just verdict, Gordon said "50-50". He then shouted in English - from a cell 10 metres away: "I want to go home!"

His lawyer Arnon Nampa said later there was misunderstanding about the verdict day, but he questioned why the ruling was delayed as he had heard the verdict was already written even before the flood, which temporarily interrupted the court's activities. Arnon was told by a court official that Gordon was transported to the court yesterday for "further questioning".

A source from the US Embassy who showed up yesterday said he was "optimistic" about the ruling.

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