A lawyer says a Thai military court has sentenced a businessman to 25 years in prison on charges of defaming the country's monarchy, believed to be the longest sentence handed down in recent years for the crime of lese majeste.

Yingcheep Atchanont of the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights Center said the court in Bangkok found Thiensutham Suthijitseranee guilty on Tuesday of five counts of lese majeste for postings he made on Facebook, and handed him a 10-year sentence for each count. It cut the total 50-year term in half because he pleaded guilty to the charges.

Thailand's lese majeste law is considered the harshest in the world, with those accused of defaming, insulting or threatening the monarchy facing jail terms ranging from three to 15 years on each count.