Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is currently living in self-exile in Dubai, must serve his sentence in prison, not house arrest, if he returns home to Thailand, caretaker deputy prime minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said.
Wissanu responded to Thaksin’s latest Tweet, in which he vows to return home before his 74th birthday on July 26th, saying the former PM must be imprisoned if he did return.
Thaksin tweeted that he is willing to go through the legal process in exchange for him to be home with his family and his grandchild.
According to Wissanu, who is also an expert on Thai laws, there are three types of cases involving Thaksin.
The first type involved cases in which the courts had already issued a verdict, but Thaksin had not returned to Thailand to face punishment. The second type involved cases where court rulings were still pending. The third type involved cases where the courts had already found Thaksin not guilty.
The caretaker deputy PM insisted that Thaksin must go to jail because he fled the country and had not attended any court hearings. Bail to be released and set free while traveling Thailand would also not eligible, according to Wissanu.
He also said that the ex-PM could not be placed under house arrest like previous reports said. “Inmates must be sent to state detention facilities and they cannot be placed under house arrest,” according to Wissanu.
Regarding a royal pardon, the legal specialist explained that there are two categories of royal pardons – the first being those sought by authorities on behalf of convicts, and the second being those requested by individual prisoners seeking a reduction in their sentence.
Individuals must serve at least eight years, or one-third of their jail term, in order to seek a royal pardon. In Thaksin’s case, he was ousted from office by a 2006 junta and was living in self-exile ever since.
Thaksin says he wants to return home to care for his daughter’s latest child, a boy named Thasin. Thaksin claims he doesn’t want to be involved in politics, but many critics disagree.