Sondhi, 71, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after a court found him guilty of forgery relating to a bank loan deal in September last year.
“My father has been suffering from cataract in his left eye for a long time before he was sentenced to the jail term. The condition has worsened because of the conditions in the prison. Now the cataract has caused him [to lose the sight of] his left eye, he can no longer see,” said Jittanart.
Jittanart said that his father’s health is poor partly because there is a bullet fragment left in his skull from an attack in 2009.
“My father has suffered from severe headaches as a result of the presence of a bullet fragment in his skull. Doctors can’t give him an MRI examination because the fragment is metal. The only way to remove it is an operation,” he said.
He said his father collapsed once because the shrapnel moved from its original position. Any treatment on Sondhi will have to follow Corrections Department regulations.
Sondhi, Thai media mogul and founder of Manager daily newspaper and ASTV satellite broadcaster, was a core leader of People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) that was involved in a series of political crises in Thailand.
He was once a supporter of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra but turned to be leader of the anti-Thaksin movement or PAD.
In April, 2009, gunmen in a pickup truck ambushed Sondhi's car at a petrol station in the Samsen area and fired M-16 and AK-47 assault rifle rounds at the car. The attackers escaped when Sondhi's followers in another car opened fire on them.
Sondhi suffered a serious head wound and underwent emergency surgery in hospital. He survived the surgery, which involved removing several bullet fragments from his skull.
Despite the jail conditions, Sondhi has a strong and good spirit and will continue using his experience and knowledge to teach other inmates, Jittanart said.
Published : August 29, 2017
By : THE NATION