Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said Thaksin would be a “normal citizen” after his release, expected after February 17.
Imprisoned former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra should be released.
Thaksin, 74, who was jailed for eight years for abuse of power before a royal pardon reduced his sentence to one year, has been granted parole, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s official,” Srettha said, emphasizing that everything happened according to the law. “Once released, he will be a normal citizen. What is in the past is in the past.
Thaksin returned to Thailand last August after more than 14 years in exile and was immediately brought to justice where he was jailed for eight years for abuse of power.
Thaksin was transferred to hospital after just one night in prison when his blood pressure skyrocketed.
Shortly after, the king granted him a royal pardon, reducing the sentence to one year.
Thai media reported earlier, citing Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong, that Thaksin was among 930 inmates granted parole on Tuesday – in his case for reasons of age and health – and that he should be released after February 17.
Thaksin rose to power in 2001 on a populist agenda that appealed to rural Thais long neglected by the country’s ruling elites. He was returned to power five years later, but the military quickly seized power in a coup.
Thaksin – who has also been accused of serious human rights violations amid violent conflict in the country’s predominantly Muslim southern provinces and a “war on drugs”, which has left thousands dead – was later convicted of abuse of power and went into exile, mainly in Dubai.
Srettha is a member of the Pheu Thai party led by Thaksin’s youngest daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra. He formed a government after last May’s elections, where the progressive Move Forward party won the most votes but was prevented from taking power by still powerful elements linked to the military and the traditional elite.
Srettha said Tuesday that Thaksin was a man who had benefited the country and who could give “good advice” to his daughter “to serve the country.”
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