Tuesday , July 23 2024

Former Prime Minister of Thailand sentenced to six months and released on parole

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was released on parole early Sunday from a Bangkok hospital where he served a six-month sentence for corruption-related crimes.

Thaksin was seen in a motorcade leaving the Police General Hospital on Sunday morning. Shinawatra reached his residence in West Bangkok in less than an hour. Banners with phrases like “Welcome home” and “We have been waiting for this day for a long time” were put up outside the gate of his house. Thaksin had been in power since 2001 but was ousted in a coup in 2006. He was later convicted of abuse of power and other crimes. Thaksin had been in self-isolation for more than a decade but returned to serve his prison sentence in August last year.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison, which was reduced to one year by King Maha Vajiralongkorn on 1 September. Thaksin described his sentence as politically motivated. Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong confirmed Thaksin's parole approval last week. He mentioned the possibility of releasing prisoners suffering from serious illnesses, disabled or above 70 years of age. Thaksin is 74 years old.

He was detained at the Police Hospital in Bangkok. Opponents allege that Thaksin served his sentence in hospital as a matter of privilege.