6 June 2024

Move Forward MP Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn questioned Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai’s today over his claim that convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is not and has not been receiving special privileges and his request that critics do not to politicise the issue.

In his “X” post, the outspoken MP said that he has never politicised the controversy surrounding Thaksin’s medical treatment at the Police General Hospital, but wants Phumtham to clearly explain the regulation of the Corrections Department, which allows certain prisoners to be treated outside, and Thaksin’s illness which requires him to be treated outside the Corrections Department’s facilities.

Citing the Corrections Department’s regulations, he said that a convict is not allowed to be treated in a “special room”, although they may be allowed to receive treatment outside the prison.

“If the 14th floor of the Police General Hospital is not a special ward, he should say so,” said Wiroj, as he urged Phumtham not to pass the buck on to the doctors at the hospital.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsuthin warned members of the House Police Affairs Committee that they may face charges if they go to the 14th floor of the Police General Hospital, in an attempt to find out if Thaksin is actually still there, without prior permission from the hospital.

He also said that only Thaksin has the right to disclose the nature of his illnesses, which is regarded as so confidential information which even the doctors are not allowed to disclose.

Somsak explained that the Corrections Department’s regulation to allow convicts to be treated outside prison is normally reviewed every five years, to improve the penal system, and is not specifically meant to benefit Thaksin, as claimed by critics.

According to Thai PBS’s findings, Room 1401 on the 14th floor of Police General Hospital, where Thaksin is reported to be being treated, is guarded by a corrections official at the door, with two police officers on guard in the left wing of the hospital building.

The 14th floor, which was previously the ward for high-ranking special patients, has been renamed “special patient ward”.

Thaksin has been in the hospital for 120 days and, according to the regulations, the director-general of the Corrections Department must submit a report on Thaksin’s treatment and condition to the justice minister, for consideration about what to do next.