Former Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra, who’s is currently in jail, is set to be released soon, the country’s justice minister has said. Tawee Sodsong told the media today that Shinawatra is among the 900-odd prisoners who have been approved for parole as they are over 70 years old and ailing. As per Thai law, those who fit into this category are entitled to release after undergoing at least a six-month jail term. Shinawatra, 74, was jailed in August 22 last year, which means his release could come as early as this weekend, according to the local media. It’s not clear whether his release comes with strings attached but he could be subject to electronic surveillance and there could be curbs on his travel.
From PM To Convict
Billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra became prime minister for the first time in 2001, riding a popular mandate. He got a second term too but was ousted in a military coup in 2006 when he was abroad. He remained in self-imposed exile for over 14 years and returned to Thailand last year after his Pheu Thai Party came to power after an alliance with pro-military parties. That triggered speculation that his party had struck a deal. On his return, Shinawatra got a jail term for eight years for corruption and abuse of power. On the first day of his jail term, his health deteriorated and he was shifted to hospital. Soon, Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn commuted his sentence to one year.
Hospital To Home
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who is from Pheu Thai Party, also confirmed that Shinawatra would be released. Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra, who now leads the Pheu Thai Party has said that her father would return to the family home. He had been confined to a hospital room for the last six months, she said, and thought he would probably go out once doctors agreed he was fit enough to do so, she said as reported by The Bangkok Post.