In Thailand

Thai king reduces ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s prison sentence to one year

Written by World News

King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand has reduced former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s eight-year prison sentence to one year, according to the royal gazette.

Thaksin, Thailand’s most famous politician, made a dramatic homecoming last week after 15 years abroad where he lived in self-exile to avoid prison. He arrived on a private jet and greeted supporters before being moved to a prison to serve an eight-year sentence for abuse of power and conflicts of interest from his time in power.

“Thaksin accepted his crime and showed remorse,” the royal gazette document said, adding that the former prime minister was ill.

Hours after his return, Srettha Thavisin, of the Shinawatra-backed Pheu Thai party, won a parliamentary vote to become prime minister with the support of pro-military lawmakers.

Thaksin, a former telecoms tycoon, still wields influence in Thai politics with parties loyal to him winning every election in the past two decades until this year.

Recent events have fuelled speculation that Thaksin has struck a deal with his bitter rivals in the conservative establishment and royalist military, which ousted his parties in coups in 2006 and 2014, at the time accusing him and his parties of corruption and disloyalty to the powerful monarchy.

Thaksin denied those allegations and has rejected talk of a deal with the generals.

On his first night in jail, Thaksin was transferred to a police hospital for chest pains and high blood pressure.

More details soon …


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