By Thai Newsroom Reporters
DE FACTO PHEU THAI BOSS Thaksin Shinawatra could possibly be released on parole despite a one-year jail sentence on condition that he has served at least six months behind bars, a government official said today (Sep.18).
Corrections Department spokesman Sitthi Sutheewong confirmed that the deposed prime minister who had been earlier sentenced in absentia to eight years in jail and then given royal pardon to have it curtailed to only one year could not ask for an immediate release on parole until he has practically served a minimum of six months in jail as provided by law.
Releases on parole may be granted for inmates who are either over 70 years old or have critical illnesses after they have served one-third of their jail sentence whilst the 74-year-old “sickly” Thaksin could apparently fall into both categories, according to the department’s spokesman.
An inmate’s time to serve ahead of a possible release on parole is bound to consume a minimum of six months under the relevant law though one-third of a one-year jail sentence may otherwise mathematically amount to four months, Sitthi said.
His comments apparently dampened hearsay that the Shinawatra family had planned to file a petition in pursuit of a release on parole for the de facto Pheu Thai boss anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Corrections Department director-general Ayut Sinthoppand is yet to review an official report from Police Hospital on the health conditions of the de facto Pheu Thai boss to see if he may be allowed to stay outside of a prison longer than one month since he was admitted to that hospital from Bangkok Remand Prison on Aug.22, he said.
Nevertheless, the so-called Students and People’s Network for Thailand Reform has alleged that the doctors at Police Hospital currently treating the “sickly” Thaksin may have compromised their professional ethics to keep him away from jail.
The deposed prime minister had appeared strong and healthy in pictures earlier circulated on social media before he returned from 17 years of self-exile abroad on Aug.22 – the date on which real estate tycoon-turned-top candidate Srettha Thavisin was overwhelmingly voted by lawmakers to take the helm of government.
Srettha is invariably viewed as personally associated with Thaksin’s sister/deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra who had allegedly pushed for the successful naming of him as head of the Pheu Thai-led coalition government following last May’s general election.
De facto Pheu Thai boss Thaksin Shinawatra with his daughter and head of Pheu Thai Family Paetongtarn Shinawatra by his side upon arriving at Don Mueang Airport last month. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon