Thailand  has delivered its harshest sentence ever for insulting the monarchy, jailing a man for 35 years.
The Bangkok military court sentenced 34-year-old former insurance salesman Vichai Thepwong to 70 years’ imprisonment on 10 counts of lese-majeste, but halved the sentence because he had pleaded guilty.
The conviction is the heaviest sentence yet, beating a 30-year sentence handed down in 2015.
Lese-majeste – insulting the monarchy – is punishable by three to 15 years’ imprisonment per incident. 
There has been a sharp rise in cases since a military took power in a coup in 2014 and decreed that lese-majeste would be prosecuted in military courts. Critics of the law say it is often used as a tool of political repression.
The upsurge in cases came as Thailand was undergoing a royal transition, with the decline and death in October last year of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and his succession by his son, now King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Vichai’s apparent …