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    Jailed former Thai PM Thaksin to be released

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    Bangkok, Feb 13 (IANS) Jailed former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is set to be released soon, Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong said on Tuesday.

    Talking to reporters before attending a cabinet meeting, the Justice Minister said that Thaksin is among the 930 inmates approved for parole this month, Xinhua news agency reported.

    The 74-year-old leader is eligible for parole for being aged above 70 and with severe illness.

    Thaksin, who is expected to be released on Saturday after serving at least six months of the sentence, 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.

    –IANS

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