Jailed former Thai premier Thaksin to be released on Sunday, PM says


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BANGKOK, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Jailed former Thai Premier Thaksin Shinawatra will be released from hospital detention on Sunday, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said.

Billionaire political heavyweight Thaksin, 74, who was Thailand's prime minister from 2001-2006, has been in detention since August, after making a dramatic homecoming from 15 years in self-exile overseas to avoid prison for a conflict of interest.

He had his eight-year jail term commuted to a year by the King after his return and has served six months in hospital detention due to an undisclosed health condition.

Thaksin was granted parole earlier this week but it was not certain until now when he would be freed. Sunday is the first day of his parole eligibility.

"It will be on the 18th," Prime Minister Srettha told reporters on Saturday, adding that he did not know the details and that "everything would be in accordance to the law."

Despite being granted parole, Thaksin could face further legal troubles as public prosecutors are considering charging him for insulting the monarchy during a 2015 media interview.

Thaksin's return last year coincided with ally and political newcomer Srettha being chosen as prime minister on the same day, adding to speculation that both developments were part of a behind-the-scenes deal between Thaksin and his powerful enemies in Thailand's royalist-military establishment.

Thaksin's allies and the government, led by the Shinawatra-backed Pheu Thai Party, have dismissed that.

(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Stephen Coates and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

((Panu.Wongcha-um@thomsonreuters.com; +6626488658;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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