Former Thai PM to be freed from prison: justice minister

Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is to be freed from prison, local media reported on Tuesday, citing Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong.

Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is set to be released soon, Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong said Tuesday.

Tawee told reporters before attending a cabinet meeting that Thaksin is among the 930 inmates approved for parole this month. The 74-year-old is eligible for parole for being aged above 70 and with severe illness.

Thaksin is expected to be released around Feb. 17 after serving at least six months of the sentence.

Tahsin ended his exile of over 15 years and returned to Thailand in August last year, and was soon detained and sentenced to an eight-year prison sentence on several charges. However, he was soon transferred from a Bangkok prison to a hospital due to health concerns and has remained in hospital since.

Last September, Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn reduced Thaksin's prison term to one year following his request for a royal pardon.

Thaksin served as the Southeast Asian country's prime minister from 2001 to 2006 and had been in self-exile abroad since 2008.

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