The family of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whose eight-year prison sentence over corruption convictions was commuted to a year of imprisonment this month, is looking at the possibility of securing his early release on parole.
(Bloomberg) — The family of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whose eight-year prison sentence over corruption convictions was commuted to a year of imprisonment this month, is looking at the possibility of securing his early release on parole.
Thaksin, who was the nation’s leader from 2001 until a coup in 2006, is currently recovering in hospital after undergoing a surgical procedure last week, his youngest daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra told reporters on Tuesday. She declined to give details about the surgery and said it was unclear how much longer Thaksin needs to remain in hospital.
“We’re looking into the law to see what can be done, whether it’s possible for him to recover at home,” Paetongtarn said. “But there’s no progress on this yet and we haven’t requested parole.”
The 74-year-old former leader, who returned to Thailand from 15 years of self-imposed exile last month, was sent to jail on his arrival over three graft convictions handed down in absentia. Shortly after, he was moved to a police hospital after complaining of chest pain and high blood pressure. Within days, Thaksin petitioned King Maha Vajiralongkorn for a royal pardon and, in turn, got his sentence commuted to just one year.
Thaksin’s homecoming was seen as part of a deal with the military establishment that has repeatedly ousted his family and political allies from power over the past two decades. Hours after his return to Thailand, Srettha Thavisin, a nominee of the coalition headed by Pheu Thai Party, effectively helmed by Thaksin, was elected as the nation’s new prime minister.
READ: Why Thaksin Made Peace With Thai Establishment Foes: QuickTake
According to Thai laws, prisoners who have served at least two-thirds of their sentences may be released early under probation. Additionally, prisoners who are at least 70 years old and are suffering from severe illnesses may also be eligible after serving at least six months or a third of their sentences.
Paetongtarn said her family is aware of the relevant laws. Former deputy prime minister Wissanu Krea-ngam previously said Thaksin may remain in the hospital until he became well enough to return to jail.
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