The Supreme Court on Tuesday, August 22nd, slapped Thaksin Shinawatra, the ex-premier of Thailand, with an 8-year jail term following his homecoming from exile.
The Supreme Court Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions said that Thaksin’s jail sentences relate to three convictions passed on him in absentia, including abuse of power and malfeasance, illegally ordering a state-run bank to issue a foreign loan, and illegally holding shares via nominees.
The former prime minister had just arrived in Thailand after spending over 17 years in self-imposed exile. He was whisked to the court after landing in his private jet at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok on Tuesday morning, August 22nd.
Initially, the court issued a 10-year imprisonment order for Thaksin. However, due to the court’s decision to treat certain sentences concurrently, the overall duration of imprisonment was shortened to 8 years.
Thaksin will serve his sentence at Bangkok Remand Prison, where he will stay in a separate medical ward and be monitored by medical personnel due to his five medical conditions, including an ischemic heart muscle, chronic pulmonary inflammation, high blood pressure, degenerated spine, and abnormal posture.
The ex-premier’s health conditions were released to the press after he underwent a medical examination at the prison.
The Department of Corrections, which is responsible for Thaksin’s incarceration, has confirmed that he will be treated the same as other inmates. This means that he will eat the same food that other prisoners eat and that only his lawyer will be allowed to visit him during his first five days in prison.
According to Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who is also a legal expert, Thaksin has the right to apply for a royal pardon from the very first day of his sentence. This is as with other prisoners, Wissanu said.
Many social media netizens widely expect a royal pardon for Thaksin but this is not, of course, guaranteed.