Corrections authorities insist former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra can seek a royal pardon while opponents object to such a request, saying he was investigated for lese majeste.
Nastee Thongplad, governor of the Bangkok Remand Prison, said on Sunday that Thaksin, like all convicts, had the right to seek a royal pardon and he or his relatives would have to prepare adequate reasons to back the request.
The governor said an application for a royal pardon begins at the petitioner's prison. Prison authorities will check the written petition and then forward it to the Department of Corrections.
Afterwards the petition will go to the Justice Ministry, the cabinet secretariat and finally the Office of His Majesty the King's Principal Private Secretary, which will propose it for royal consideration.
There is a form for a royal pardon application and a petitioner will need to present other documents to show his past contributions and medical treatment records.
Mr Nastee also said that visitors would be allowed to see Thaksin at Police General Hospital from Monday onwards. The Department of Corrections is limiting the number of visitors to 10 per day. They would have to register beforehand and were prohibited from presenting any gifts or souvenirs to Thaksin, he said.
Meanwhile, the Thaipakdee Party said it objected to any application for a royal pardon for Thaksin because he had yet to be tried for alleged lese majeste.
According to the party, the army had accused Thaksin in the Criminal Court of defamation and violation of Section 112 of the Criminal Code (the lese majeste law). The court had accepted the case for trial in 2015 and issued a warrant for the arrest of Thaksin, who did not appear at the court as ordered.
On the first night of his stay at the Bangkok Remand Prison, corrections doctors determined that he had to be transferred to Police General Hospital because of his serious illnesses.
The management of Police General Hospital denied authorities had done any favours for Thaksin.