Incarcerated former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will be eligible to apply for the suspension of his remaining one-year sentence as early as February 2024, after he has served six months, albeit in a hospital, Senator Somchai Sawangkarn informed Thai media on Monday, September 25th.
Somchai said the duration Thaksin spent in the Police General Hospital is considered served time, so he is set to complete six months of his prison sentence in February.
The senator, who chairs the Senate’s Standing Committee on Human Rights, Rights and Liberties and Consumer Protection, explained that inmates are eligible to seek sentence suspension or commutation from His Majesty the King once they have completed either one-third or six months of their sentence. He further noted that the suspension and commutation are typically granted on significant occasions like the King’s birthday on July 28th, King Bhumibol’s birthday on December 5th, and Queen Sirikit’s birthday on August 12th.
Thaksin has been under the custody of the Department of Corrections since August 22nd, although he mostly spent his jail time at a suite room at the police hospital due to his alleged health conditions.
Somchai continued that Thaksin may very likely be eligible for a suspension of his term and release because he is over 74 years old, which passes the 70-year-old criteria.
He further stated that Thaksin may be allowed to stay at home without having to wear electronic monitoring (EM) bracelets. However, he would probably be restricted from leaving the country.
In response to calls to disclose details of Thaksin’s illness, some legal experts came out to say that the action could constitute a violation to the National Health Security Act, which bars physicians from disclosing patients’ health condition without consent.