Former Thai PM Thaksin requests royal pardon

Thailand's deputy prime minister revealed on Thursday that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has submitted a request for a royal pardon.

Thaksin returned to Thailand last month after 15 years of de facto exile abroad at a time when a political party close to him is set to launch a new government.

Much attention is on whether his request for a royal pardon will be approved.

Thaksin was ousted in a military coup in 2006. Upon return, he was sent to prison to serve an eight-year sentence for corruption and other charges. But he was transferred to hospital on his first night there, after he complained he couldn't sleep well and felt tightness in his chest.

Thailand will soon have a new coalition government led by the Pheu Thai Party along with conservative camps linked to the military. Pheu Thai is affiliated with Thaksin, and had long been at odds with pro-military parties.

Thaksin's return has prompted rumors that a deal to pardon him has already been made, or that he will be granted a pardon after a new government is formed.