Former deputy police commissioner Chalor Kerdthes, convicted of murder in connection with the 1989 Saudi jewel theft case, has been released on parole.
He has served more than 19 years behind bars.
A Justice Ministry parole committee decided last month to release 600 inmates who met four special requirements, deputy justice permanent secretary Charnchao Chaiyanukij said yesterday. Chalor was among those selected for release.
The conditions were that inmates must have served one-third of their sentence, have exhibited good behaviour while behind bars, be aged over 70 and suffer from an ailment.
Chalor was released from Bang Kwang Central Prison at 2pm on Friday and was greeted by his daughter.
The former police major-general, now 70, was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2009 for murdering Darawadee Srithanakhan, the wife of a gem trader, and her son Seri. The sentence was later reduced to 50 years in a royal pardon.
Darawadee's husband, Santi Srithanakhan, allegedly purchased some of the 500 million baht worth of jewels stolen from the palace of Saudi Prince Faisal in 1989 by Thai worker Kriangkrai Techamong.
Mr Charnchao said Chalor had applied for parole twice before, but his requests had been rejected.
Chalor will have to report to parole officers at the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road every month.
If he commits another crime, his parole will cancelled and he will forfeit the right to seek parole again, Mr Charnchao said.
Wasant Singkhaselit, commander of Bang Kwang central prison, said the inmates who have been granted parole must strictly abide by the legal requirements of their release.
Mr Wasant said Chalor had been jailed for 19 years, or more than one-third of his jail sentence, which qualified him for parole under the special programme.
He also suffers from chronic ill health, including partial paralysis in his left arm.