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Release of ex-Thai PM Thaksin questioned | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been freed on parole after being detained for six months at a police hospital. Questions are being asked about his release and his possible future role in Thai politics.

The 74-year-old was freed on Sunday morning. Judicial authorities say his age and health were among factors in the decision to parole him.

Thaksin was ousted from power in a coup in 2006 and had been in de facto exile. He returned to Thailand last August and was sent to prison, but was immediately hospitalized after complaining of ill-health.

The largest opposition Move Forward Party has denounced his release, suggesting he got special treatment.

Some people in Bangkok also criticized the decision. One man in the capital told NHK: “I think Thailand’s justice system is unfair. People with privilege and priority are granted parole faster.”

The ruling Pheu Thai Party is affiliated with Thaksin. Yuttaporn Issarachai, associate professor at Sukhothai Thammathirat University and an expert on Thai politics, said Thaksin remains a charismatic figure, but as for politics, he’s yesterday’s man.

He said: “I don’t think there’ll be significant change because Thai politics has gone beyond Thaksin already. If he comes back in the spotlight, it might trigger a conflict that leads to an attack on Pheu Thai.”

On Monday, Thaksin met prosecutors to discuss allegations he defamed the monarchy during his time abroad. A senior prosecutor said he is “seriously ill” and “barely had any voice.” Prosecutors say further investigation is needed before they decide whether to charge him.

Read More:Release of ex-Thai PM Thaksin questioned | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News