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Dhaka Tribune

Thai king reduces Thaksin’s prison sentence to one year

  • Prison sentence reduced from 8 years to 1 year
  • He was given a royal pardon due to his health issues and loyalty to the country
Update : 01 Sep 2023, 04:11 PM

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn reduced on Friday the prison sentence of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from eight years to one.

On Thursday, Thaksin requested a royal pardon. The request would have had to be submitted to the justice minister before the prime minister considered it and then the king ratified it.

Thaksin "was a prime minister, has done good for the country and people, and is loyal to the monarchy," the royal gazette said on Friday, announcing the pardon.

"He respected the process, admitted his guilt, repented, and accepted court verdicts. Right now he is old, and has an illness that needs caring from a medical professional," it read.

This comes following Thaksin's return home last month and subsequent imprisonment for convictions of graft and abuse of power. He was hospitalized during his first night in prison over chest pain and high blood pressure.

Why is Thaksin in jail?

Former Prime Minister and Pheu Thai party founder Thaksin was ousted in a coup 17 years ago, pushing him into self-exile.

He returned to Thailand for the first time in 15 years last week, only to be quickly arrested and taken to the Supreme Court, sentencing him to eight years on charges of graft and abuse of power.

His sentence is said to be based on past convictions he had obtained in absentia.

Thaksin had formed the Thai Rak Thai party in 1998, which later came to be known as the now-ruling Pheu Thai party.

Many questioned the timing of his return from exile. Speculations arose that the Pheu Thai party had made a deal with other parties involving a pardon for him. 

Srettha Thavisin, the country's newly-appointed prime minister, is now considered the face of Thaksin's political movement.

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