Thai king reduces ex-PM Thaksin’s jail time to 1 yr

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has reduced the eight-year jail sentence handed down to ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to one year, according to a royal gazette published Friday.

Thaksin’s contributions to the country and its people during his tenure as prime minister as well as his loyalty to the monarchy and admitting to wrongdoing were among the factors that led to the reduction, it said.

Thaksin served as Thailand’s prime minister from February 2001 until September 2006, when he was toppled by a military coup while visiting the United States.

After spending years in self-imposed exile, the 74-year-old returned to Thailand on Aug. 22, the day Srettha Thavisin of the populist Pheu Thai party, Thaksin’s political vehicle, was elected prime minister.

Thaksin entered prison to serve an eight-year sentence for charges including corruption, but due to health issues, he was later transferred to a hospital in Bangkok, where he currently remains.

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga