Thai Government Says Pardon Won’t Allow Thaksin’s Return

Posted November 21st, 2011 at 4:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Thailand's government has ruled out a royal pardon that would have allowed fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return to the country.

Thai media reported that the proposed amnesty was agreed to during a Cabinet meeting last week. But Justice Minister Pracha Promnok told reporters Monday that no changes would be made to allow Mr. Thaksin's return.

Royal pardons are granted each year by Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej around his birthday on December 5.

The Bangkok Post newspaper reported that this year, amnesty would apply to people over the age of 60 who have been sentenced to less than three years in prison.

Mr. Thaksin, the older brother of current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, was ousted by the army in a 2006 coup, sparking a prolonged period of political instability.

He fled the country in 2008 and was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison for corruption.