Ex-PM Thaksin To Be Released on Parole This Coming Weekend

Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong announced on Tuesday that convicted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is set for parole this weekend due to his old age and serious health issues.

Mr. Tawee disclosed that Thaksin’s release was part of a broader parole decision for 930 inmates, following a proposal from the Department of Corrections to parole 945 inmates this month.

At 74, Thaksin qualifies for parole under the criteria of being 70 or older, having significant health problems, and having completed at least six months of his one-year sentence, according to Mr. Tawee.

The rules allow for parole eligibility once a convict has served at least one-third of their sentence or six months, whichever is less, provided the remaining sentence does not exceed ten years.

Mr. Tawee mentioned that Thaksin’s parole was part of a list sent by the Department of Corrections’ Director-General, anticipating his release on either February 17 or 18.

He noted that the number of inmates granted parole monthly, around 930, is consistent.

“I would like to say this is normal… Parole for serious illness, disability, or being aged 70 years or more began in 2003. Since then, 2,240 people have been paroled,” the justice minister stated.

After 15 years as a fugitive living overseas, Thaksin returned to Thailand on August 22, 2023, only to be imprisoned by the Supreme Court for eight years over several finalized cases, which was reduced to one year by royal pardon.

Upon his arrival at Bangkok Remand Prison, health professionals decided to transfer him to the Police General Hospital due to his grave health condition.

Paetongtarn, Thaksin’s daughter and leader of the Pheu Thai Party, stated her father would return to the family home, having been hospitalized for the past six months and awaiting medical clearance to venture outside.