Former Thailand PM imprisoned for corruption after return from exile News
Thai Parliament Museum website // Public domain
Former Thailand PM imprisoned for corruption after return from exile

Former Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra returned to Thailand after fifteen years of exile on Tuesday. Following his arrival, Thaksin was escorted to Thailand’s Supreme Court and sentenced to eight years imprisonment for corruption.

Prior to landing in Bangkok, Thaksin issued a statement via social media announcing his return to Thailand. He requested “permission to live on the land of Thailand and share the air with Thai brothers and sisters.” Following his journey via private jet, Thaksin was greeted by many supporters at Bangkok airport. The former Prime Minister was popular with the rural poor during his time in office until 2006, when he was ousted from his position by a military coup. He was accused of corruption and abuse of power and has been in self-imposed exile in London and Dubai since.

Despite the support he received on return to Thailand, Thaksin was escorted to the Supreme Court after his brief public appearance. A statement by the court showed Thaksin’s combined sentences for three corruption cases totaled eight years of imprisonment. The 74-year-old is now situated in Bangkok Remand Prison, where authorities have ensured that necessary medical provisions will be available to him.

Shortly after Thaksin’s return, Thailand’s Parliament elected Srettha Thavisin as the country’s new prime minister. After a three-month delay, Srettha, a former president of a luxury property developer and current member of the Pheu Thai party, will now be tasked with forming a coalition government, including the parties responsible for overthrowing the government in 2006 and 2014. Pheu Thai stated that Thaksin’s imprisonment and Srettha’s election are not linked.