A prison warden does not have the authority to grant house arrest to an inmate who has yet to complete their jail time, the Thai Department of Corrections clarified amidst rumors that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra would be placed on house arrest when he returns to Thailand in July as pledged.
Today, June 8th, Mr. Sitthi Suteewong, Deputy Director General and spokesman of the Department of Corrections, came out to say that a warden does not have the authority to grant house arrest to detainees.
His clarification is in response to early reports by Thai media that a warden is allowed to authorize the relocation of detainees outside the prisons by the new regulation recently released on the Royal Gazette website.
The news came amidst an anticipitation that Thailand’s former PM Thaksin, who is currently living in self-exile overseas, will return to the country before July 26th, his 74th birthday, to care for his grandchildren. Reports said he might be placed on house arrrest.
Mr. Sitthi, however, said that the new regulation concerning the treatment of detainees, in fact, stipulates that individuals can be placed on house arrest only when they have already completed their imprisonment or detention but have a habitual offender nature.
If that person still has an incomplete term, they will have to finish it first before being placed on house arrest for precautions, Mr. Sitthi explained.
Thaksin has many unfinished jail terms, The Pattaya News notes.
The Department of Corrections currently has custody of 57 people (51 males and 6 females) who are under house arrest. Based on past statistics, the majority of detainees are habitual offenders and have committed minor property offenses, Mr. Sitthi said.
He urged the public to follow accurate information through the official public relations channels of the Department of Corrections only.