THAILAND: NEW KING PARDONS MINOR OFFENDERS, CUTS JAIL TERMS
|Thailandâs King Maha Vajiralongkorn
December 12, 2016: Thailandâs King Maha Vajiralongkorn has issued a decree granting pardons to certain prisoners in commemoration of his accession to the throne.
Under the decree in the Royal Gazette, which takes effect today, the new king granted full pardons to prisoners sentenced to no more than three months in jail for minor offences; prisoners released on parole; and prisoners who carry out community or public service instead of paying fines.
According toÂ the Nation, the decree countersigned by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha will also grant pardons to prisoners who are disabled, blind and those suffering from mental disorders, cancer, leprosy, HIV and chronic kidney failure.
Prisoners above the age of 60 and have served over five years or at least one-third of their jail terms as well as those younger than 20 years of age who have served more than half their total jail term or have less than two years to serve will also be pardoned.
Under the royal decree, convicts who have been sentenced to death will also have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended to the throne on Dec 1, replacing his father, the late former monarch Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away in October.
Thailand has been in a state of national mourning since Bhumibolâs death at age 88 and public reaction to the new king has so far been muted, although there were earlier concerns over the countryâs stability in the wake of the former monarchâs passing.
Thailand has been torn apart by decades of political strife and unrest and Bhumibol had been long regarded as the nationâs one true symbol of unity. (Sources: asiancorrespondent.com, 12/12/2016)