11 July 2024

Convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is not yet entitled to parole, according to Corrections Department spokesman Sitthi Sutheewong today (Monday).

He dismissed as untrue reports that Thaksin, whose prison term was reduced from eight to one year by a royal commutation, will submit an application for parole, citing his age and serious illness.

While Thaksin may fit the profile of those who can apply for parole, he must remain incarcerated for at least one-third of his jail term or at least six months (whichever is the longer), as required by the rules.

Thaksin is currently only in the first month of his jail time, Suthee said. “One third of his one-year prison time is four months, but the rules state that the time served has to be at least six months. So, Thaksin has to serve five more months before being entitled to apply for parole.”

If granted parole, Thaksin is expected to be a free man again next February, Suthee said.

Thaksin has been in the Police Hospital for nearly 30 days, so his medical team is required to submit an evaluation of his health to the Corrections Department and the prison for review.

Suthee said the department will base its decision on whether to allow Thaksin to continue to receive medical treatment outside prison on the doctors’ opinions.