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HOME // National News // Former PM Thaksin set to be released on Sunday

Former PM Thaksin set to be released on Sunday

Thaksin Shinawatra

In what will come as a surprise to nobody, Thaksin Shinawatra will soon be released on parole, without having spent a single night behind bars. The convicted former PM of Thailand returned to the kingdom on August 22 last year, following a 15 year absence. He had fled the country after being ousted by a military coup in 2006.

During his self-imposed exile, he was convicted for corruption and abuse of power while in government and sentenced in absentia by various military governments.

On his return to the kingdom in August, the 74 year old was met by the authorities and taken to the Supreme Court. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison (subsequently reduced to 1 year by royal clemency).

Later that night, Thaksin was removed from Bangkok Remand Prison and transferred to the Police General Hospital on the grounds of “ill health”, where he has remained ever since.

Now, Justice Minister Thawee Sodsong has approved Thaksin’s parole, determining that he has already completed half his jail term (albeit not in an actual jail).

Nation Thailand reports that Thaksin’s name was added to a list that was initially approved by a Corrections Department sub-committee, then passed to Thawee for the green light.

Thawee says he received a list of 945 names and approved parole and house arrest for 930 of them. He adds that Thaksin was considered eligible given his elderly age and health status.

There has been no confirmation of the date the former PM will be released, although it has been reported that he will officially have “served” half his term by February 18 (180 days in detention since his August 22 return).

According to Nation Thailand, Thaksin’s daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, confirmed that the family mansion in Bangkok is being prepared to accommodate her father during his parole.

Not everyone is happy, however. News of the convicted former PM’s release has prompted outrage in many corners. Thaksin’s opponents argue that he should not be eligible for parole as he has yet to spend a single night in prison.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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