Thai 'Yellow Shirt' founder jailed for fraud released early

Thai 'Yellow Shirt' founder jailed for fraud released early
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2012, file photo, co-leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) or Yellow Shirt Movement Sondhi Limthongkul talks with small group of reporters in Bangkok, Thailand. Sondhi Limthongkul, a flamboyant media mogul who led an ultimately successful campaign to oust Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from office in 2006, on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, was freed early from a 20-year prison sentence for financial fraud. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong, File)

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s Corrections Department says a media mogul who led a campaign to oust Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from office in 2006 has been freed early from a 20-year prison sentence for financial fraud.

The department announced Wednesday that Sondhi Limthongkul was released under the terms of a pardon marking King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s April coronation but a misunderstanding of his case delayed his freedom.

Sondhi founded the People’s Alliance for Democracy, popularly known as the Yellow Shirts, whose demonstrations in 2006 calling for Thaksin to leave office drew popular support and led to a military coup in September that year.

Sondhi was sentenced in 2012 to 20 years in prison for filing a fraudulent financial report, but went to prison only in 2016 after the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment.