Elderly Prisoner Treatment
Fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra could be treated as an elderly prisoner if he returns to Thailand to face his jail term, according to the Department of Corrections. Thaksin’s daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, announced that her father is set to arrive at Don Mueang airport on August 10. This would mark Thaksin’s first return to Thailand in 17 years.
Thaksin’s Return: A Long-Awaited Homecoming
Thaksin’s return has been a topic of discussion for years, with various dates and plans mentioned in the past. However, this is the first time a specific date has been set for his arrival. It remains to be seen if Thaksin will actually follow through with his plan to return to Thailand.
Legal Procedures and Detention
Upon Thaksin’s arrival, he will be arrested under a court warrant, and corrections authorities will follow the necessary procedures. It is likely that the Bangkok Remand Prison would be his designated detention facility. As a 74-year-old, Thaksin will be treated as an elderly inmate, receiving medical care as recommended by doctors if he has any underlying illnesses. The duration of his medical treatment will be determined by doctors.
Before being transferred to a medical ward for care, Thaksin will be tested for Covid-19 and quarantined for 10 days. The Department of Corrections has not yet received a court warrant for Thaksin’s detention.
Reactions and Speculations
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed doubt about Thaksin’s return and emphasized that state agencies will follow the necessary procedures without requiring specific orders from him. Meanwhile, Jatuporn Prompan, former chairman of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), believes there is a 50-50 chance that Thaksin will return, suggesting it might be a ploy to distract public attention.
Wanwichit Boonprong, a political science lecturer at Rangsit University, sees Thaksin’s return as a signal that a political deal has been reached and the political situation is under control. Senator Somchai Sawangkarn shares this view, believing that Thaksin’s return indicates Pheu Thai’s expectation of concluding a coalition formation deal before August 10.
Kerati Kijmanawat, Airports of Thailand (AoT) president, stated that the AoT will assess the situation and make preparations, anticipating a large number of people at the airport on the day of Thaksin’s return. Immigration police and the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) have established guidelines for handling Thaksin’s arrival. If he has outstanding warrants, he will be detained and handed over to the MPB, following standard procedures.
The Implications of Thaksin’s Return
As the former Thai Prime Minister prepares to return to his homeland, speculation and anticipation surround his homecoming. His potential treatment as an elderly prisoner, the legal procedures that await him, and the reactions of various political figures all contribute to the uncertainty of Thaksin’s future in Thailand.