Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra could be released on parole as early as late February, having already had an 8-year prison sentence commuted to one year following his return from self-exile, according to a senior corrections official.
The former premier returned to Thailand last month, 15 years after he entered self-exile following his removal from power in 2006. While abroad, Thaksin was found guilty in absentia in three cases involving abuse of power, conflict of interest, and malfeasance.
On his first night in Thailand, Thaksin was transferred to a police hospital with chest pains and high blood pressure where is currently being treated.
His Majesty the King has since commuted Thaksin’s 8-year sentence to one year.
Corrections Department Deputy Director General Sitthi Sutivong said, “After serving six months of his sentence, Thaksin will be eligible for parole for prisoners older than 70 or those who are ill.”
Sitthi also noted that the corrections department makes an assessment for each case and there is no petition process for parole in these cases.
He added that the former premier’s treatment in hospital is at the discretion of medical professionals and does not have a time limit.
Activists from the Student and People Network for Thailand Reform (SNT) filed a complaint seeking a detailed disclosure of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s health conditions, to prove if he deserves to stay in a hospital instead of a prison.