Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra can legally file a parole application at the earliest in February next year, according to the Department of Corrections.
Sitthi Sutivong, deputy director-general of the department, said on Monday that an ill convict who is 70 years old or over can apply for parole only after he serves at least one-third of his jail term or at least six months in jail.
As regulations requires the longer period to prevail, Thaksin, 74, must serve at least six months in prison before filing a parole request because that period is the longest regarding his one-year imprisonment, Mr Sitthi said. One-third of a one-year jail term lasts four months.
The six-month waiting period will end in February next year. When criteria are met, the administration of his prison can send a parole request to the Department of Corrections, he said.
The parole committee of the department meets on a monthly basis.
Mr Sitthi also said that Thaksin remained at Police General Hospital to receive continuous treatment and the hospital would report its evaluation of the former prime minister's health to the Department of Corrections when his stay at the hospital reaches 30 days (this Thursday).
The department would then decide if he should be returned to Bangkok Remand Prison, Mr Sitthi said.
If Thaksin's condition does not improve or his doctor maintains that he needs continuous treatment at the hospital, the corrections director-general can permit his continued treatment outside the prison, Mr Sitthi said.
Thaksin, 74, returned to Thailand on the morning of Aug 22 after 15 years in self-exile. He had been convicted and sentenced and charged with fresh offences during his absence.