Thai-m to go: Ex-PM Thaksin eyes special parole as prison sentence hits halfway mark

Thaksin Shinawatra, the former Prime Minister of Thailand, is eligible for special parole as he approaches the halfway point of his prison sentence on February 18, according to an insider from the Department of Corrections (DoC). The source confirmed that Thaksin is included in a list of inmates who qualify for parole and special parole.

Special parole may be granted to prisoners who are over 70 years old, critically ill, or disabled, after serving a third of their sentence. Thaksin, who had previously spent 15 years in self-imposed exile, returned to Thailand on August 22, 2023. The Chiang Mai-born politician was subsequently sentenced to eight years in prison by the Supreme Court for his past legal cases, a sentence later reduced to one year by royal clemency.

On his first night at Bangkok Remand Prison, the 74 year old former PM was transferred to Police General Hospital due to alleged serious illnesses, as per the DoC doctors’ recommendation. The list of inmates eligible for parole is set to be forwarded to the justice minister for review.

A contact from the Ministry of Justice pointed out that the DoC’s rules for assessing an inmate’s eligibility for parole do not specify the type of cases that qualify.

“Inmates for any case can be granted parole if they meet the criteria.”

Despite having his sentence commuted by His Majesty the King via a royal pardon, the DoC has stated that Thaksin fits the requirements for full parole. However, Thaksin remains under a lese majeste criminal charge from 2016, with the attorney-general yet to decide on an indictment, according to Prayut Phetcharakhun, a spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG).

Prayut mentioned that the OAG received the case from the Technology Crime Suppression Division. Thaksin is accused of defaming the monarchy with comments made in Seoul, South Korea, on May 21, 2015. The current attorney-general is yet to decide on the indictment.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin clarified that Thaksin’s case is under the jurisdiction of the DoC and the Justice Ministry, not the OAG. Meanwhile, Justice Minister Police Colonel Tawee Sodsong stated that he would have to wait for the OAG to file a lawsuit against Thaksin before deciding on further action, reported Bangkok Post.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles