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Thai Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra Released on Parole After 6 Month

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Thai Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra Released on Parole After 6 Month

(CTN News) – Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand’s convicted former Prime Minister, arrived at his house in Bangkok after being granted parole.

The millionaire was released from a police hospital after serving a one-year prison sentence for corruption and abuse of power.

Thaksin, 74, was imprisoned as soon as he returned to Thailand last August after 15 years of self-imposed exile.

He did not spend a single night in jail after complaining about health issues.

Thailand’s king lowered Thaksin’s original eight-year prison sentence to one year only days after his return from exile.

Many Thais have criticised how the matter was handled, claiming that the wealthy and powerful are frequently given preferential treatment.

“Thailand needs a democratic system where the rule of law and justice system is applied in the same way for everyone, without double standards… for privileged people,” Thailand’s Move Forward Party, which won a majority of seats in the last election but was barred from forming government by the Senate, said in a statement.

“Very sick?” Parole? “What disease?” Senator Somchai Swangkarn explained.

On Sunday, Thaksin Shinawatra was seen being driven away from the capital’s police hospital, where he had spent the previous six months.

“Congratulations to PM Thaksin Shinawatra on returning home to Chansongla this morning,” Pichai Naripthapan, a government adviser and former energy minister, wrote on social media after his release.

Thaksin Free 1

“I hope he will have good health and much happiness and warmth from his beloved family,” he said.

Thaksin Shinawatra’s age and health conditions made him eligible for parole, according to Thai authorities.

They did not specify whether he was released on certain terms, such as monitoring or travel restrictions.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told local reporters he had no plans to see Thaksin right now but that “everyone in the government is ready to listen” if Thaksin wants to offer political advice.

Thaksin, Thailand’s most successful elected leader, has long been dreaded by conservative royalists, who have supported military coups and contentious court suits to undermine him.

He departed the country in 2008 after being overthrown in a coup two years prior. He spent most of his exile years in London or Dubai.

His family’s Pheu Thai party currently has power in Thailand.

The former telecoms magnate is still one of the country’s most contentious public figures, despised by many of Bangkok’s wealthy elite yet adored by millions of poor rural Thais for his populist initiatives.

Thaksin Shinawatra was Thailand’s first elected prime minister to serve a full term in office from 2001 to 2006.

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