Former Thailand PM jailed after return from exile
Thailand’s former PM Thaksin Shinawatra has been jailed upon returning to the country after 15 years in exile.
But many believe he has struck a deal that will keep him from serving more than a short period in prison.
He arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday morning in a private jet, hours before his Pheu Thai party’s candidate Srettha Thavisin was voted the next Thai PM.
This cements Pheu Thai’s coalition with its former military rivals who deposed the party in 2014 in a coup.
Mr Thaksin, Thailand’s most successful elected leader, has long been feared by conservative royalists, who have backed military coups and contentious court cases to weaken him. He went went into self-imposed exile in 2009 after being deposed by a coup two years earlier.
While he made no secret of his yearning to be back in Thailand, what kept him away so long was the various criminal cases hanging over him. But now the brash, politically-ambitious telecoms tycoon is back – and was almost immediately sentenced to eight years’ jail on criminal convictions he says are politically motivated.
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