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Thai King Pardons Former Prime Minister Thaskin, Reduces Jail Sentence To One Year

The official gazette said his previous service to the nation was the reason for his partial pardon.

The king of Thailand has reduced former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s eight-year prison sentence to one year, a day after the former official submitted a request for pardon.

The official Royal Gazette announced the partial pardon from King Maha Vajiralongkorn, citing his time as prime minister as justification for the decision. “Thaksin accepted his crime and showed remorse,” the gazette said on Friday.

After spending 15 years abroad in self-exile to avoid going to jail for alleged abuses of power and conflicts of interest while in office, the former leader made a dramatic homecoming to Thailand.

Thaskin, who is 74 years old, arrived last week on a private plane and was taken to prison to serve an eight-year term. Due to chest problems and high blood pressure, he was sent to a police hospital on his first night there.

The gazette said that Thaksin “was a prime minister, has done good for the country and people, and is loyal to the monarchy.”

It further read, “He respected the process, admitted his guilt, repented, accepted court verdicts. Right now, he is old, has illness that needs care from a medical professional.

“His Majesty the King has granted him amnesty and reduced the sentence on Thaksin Shinawatra …  so he could use his expertise and experience to develop the country further.”

Thaksin was twice elected prime minister and ousted in a 2006 military coup.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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