Thailand’s House committee on police affairs is holding firm to its plan to visit former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra at the Police General Hospital on January 12th, despite the likelihood of facing legal action from Thaksin’s lawyer.
Committee chairman Chaichana Detdacho cited Article 129 of the Constitution, which empowers parliamentary panels to investigate matters pertaining to their mandate. This move comes after the committee announced its intention to meet Thaksin directly to address public concerns surrounding his health condition, alleged privileges granted during his hospitalization, and possible future at-home detention.
Thaksin’s lawyer, Winyat Chartmontr, and Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsutin warned against the visit, threatening legal action and emphasizing the need to respect Thaksin’s privacy and medical condition. However, Chaichana remains undeterred, stating that the public deserves answers regarding Thaksin’s situation.
“The committee needs to find answers to these questions: Is Thaksin really ill? Why is he being granted what appears to be special privileges? Will he eventually return to jail?” Chaichana declared. He added that denial of access would only fuel public suspicion.
This ongoing saga stems from Thaksin’s recent return to Thailand after 15 years of exile to face corruption charges. Despite being granted a royal pardon that reduced his sentence to one year, he remains hospitalized under undisclosed medical conditions and has yet to serve a single night in prison.