Former foreign minister sentenced to two years behind bars


Bangkok – A former foreign minister has been sentenced to serve two years in prison for aiding a fugitive to legally stay abroad.

The Criminal Division for Political Office Holders of the Supreme Court, on Tuesday delivered a guilty verdict in a malfeasance case against former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul for reissuing two passports for former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The court found Surapong’s offense, which occurred during his tenure of office in the government of then-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, was against a Foreign Ministry regulation as his action assisted Thaksin to travel to foreign countries legally after being sentenced to a jail term in Thailand and also facing charges in other cases.

The court temporarily released Surapong on five-million-baht bail Tuesday and imposed a travel ban on him after his lawyer appealed the conviction.