11 July 2024

A group of opponents plans to submit a petition to Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong tomorrow at Government House, protesting against parole for convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry, Somboon Muangklam, said today that 1,200 inmates are eligible for parole this year, but he does not know whether Thaksin is among them.

Of the 1,200, he said that 1,000 of them are “ordinary” cases, while the rest are “special” cases, adding that, in every mass parole, there are some “big names”.

Asked when they will be released, Somboon said it depends on the Corrections Department, because there is no need for a release warrant to be issued by the court and the paroled inmates can be released from prison at weekends.

For those who are over 70 and have health problems, the spokesman said that they will not be required to wear electronic monitoring bracelets, unlike like younger inmates who are released on parole.

Since his return to Thailand from 15 years of self-imposed exile, to evade incarceration, on August 22nd last year, Thaksin spent time briefly at the Corrections Department’s hospital, before being transferred to the Police General Hospital for the treatment of life-threatening ailments and has been on the 14th floor of the hospital until today.

No outsiders have been allowed to see or visit him, raising suspicions about whether he is still actually in the hospital.