6 June 2024

Convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is genuinely sick and has not been granted any privileges while or by being treated on the 14th floor of Police General Hospital, Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong told members of parliament today.

He also maintains that the regulation, recently issued by the Corrections Department, to allow convicts to serve their terms outside prisons is intended to ease overcrowding in prisons and was not meant to benefit Thaksin, as claimed by critics, adding that the law pertaining to serving prison terms outside prisons has been in enforceable since 2017.

Tawee responded today to a question raised by Move Forward MP for Pathum Thani province, Chonthicha Jaengrew, about fair enforcement of the law, citing the case of Thaksin who has been in the Police General Hospital the over 120 days since his return to Thailand from self-imposed exile.

He explained that Thaksin’s stay at the hospital was approved by the director-general of the Corrections Department and on the recommendation of the doctors treating him.

Although being treated at the hospital, the minister said that the former prime minister is not allowed to leave the hospital and no visitors are allowed, adding that the 14th floor is not exclusive to the former prime minister, as there are other patients on the floor.

As a matter of fact, he said the 14th floor is used for security reasons.