Thaksin Could Be Jailed For At Least 2 Years If He Misses The Royal Pardon

Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, center, arrives at Don Muang airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023.

Thaksin Shinawatra ended his 17 years of living in exile and returned to Thailand on August 22. He was taken to Bangkok Remand Prison before noon. The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders sentenced him to 8 years in prison on 3 corruption charges.

1. In the case of instructing EXIM Bank to provide a 4 billion baht loan to the Myanmar government to purchase goods and services from Shin Satellite Company Limited at an interest rate lower than the cost, this was considered beneficial to himself or others.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) brought charges against Thaksin in 2008 for actions causing damage to the state. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

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Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, center, arrives at Don Muang airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023.

2. The case of the “government lottery” is about the Thaksin government introducing a system to sell two- and three-digit lottery tickets to solve a problem with overpriced lotteries and an underground lottery network. The project was rife with corruption.


In 2009, the NACC accused Thaksin and 47 others in this case, resulting in a 2-year prison sentence.

3. In the “Beneficial Use of Authority” case, Thaksin is accused by the top prosecutor of profiting from shares in SHIN Corporation (SHIN). He was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

When combining the sentences from the first two cases, Thaksin would serve a total of 8 years in prison (3 + 5).

Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra prays in front of a portrait of King Maha Vajiralongkorn as he arrives at Don Muang airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)

Earlier, Wissanu Krea-ngam, the deputy prime minister and legal expert, had mentioned that Thaksin might receive special privileges different from those of ordinary prisoners because of his age of 74 and health condition, such as a special room in the prison similar to the one granted to Rakesh Saxena and Viroj Nualkhair during the Krung Thai Bank loan case.

Thaksin’s case cannot be treated at home. Whether or not he will be hospitalized depends on the decision of the Department of Corrections.

If Thaksin submits a royal pardon request that is not granted, the process must wait another 2 years before a new request can be made.

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A black Toyota van carrying prisoner Thaksin Shinwatra arrived at Bangkok Remand Prison before noon Tuesday.

The Corrections Department said Tuesday afternoon that Thaksin is suffering from many health conditions including acute coronay syndrome, herniated disc, high blood pressure and abnormal body posture.

He was separated and sent to the Bangkok Remand Prison’s medical centre. According to the official, Thaksin does not have to cut his hair like other convicts because his hair is not too long.

Thaksin was ousted by a military coup in 2006 while attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. He fled Thailand in 2008 to escape a prison term in several criminal cases, which he decried as politically motivated. His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was also ousted by a military coup in 2014, and she also faced criminal charges and fled into exile.


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