Thaksin Shinawatra, head of the influential Shinawatra political dynasty and a former owner of Manchester City Football Club, rose to power in 2001 as Thailand's prime minister.
However, his time in office was cut short by a military coup in 2006 while he was attending a UN meeting in New York. After briefly returning to Thailand, he fled the country in 2008 following a corruption conviction.
His tumultuous return on Tuesday has added another layer of complexity to Thailand's intricate political tapestry.
Upon his arrival in Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra was immediately sentenced to eight years in prison by the Supreme Court.
However, it remains uncertain whether he will serve this sentence. Despite the conviction, Thaksin's return comes at a crucial time for Thailand, as the country seeks to break a political deadlock that has persisted for more than three months following the recent elections.
Thaksin's return coincides with a parliamentary vote for a new prime minister.
The progressive Pheu Thai party, which has strong ties to Thaksin, secured a parliamentary vote for a new prime minister, aiming to navigate the political landscape riddled with challenges and rival factions.
However, the party's alliance with military-backed parties, including those affiliated with the coup leader Prayut Chan-o-Cha, has sparked controversy and criticism.
Thaksin's return garnered significant attention, with thousands of people tracking his private jet as it landed in Bangkok.
Supporters hailed his arrival, while critics expressed concerns about his legacy of corruption and autocratic tendencies.
Thaksin's daughter, Paetongtarn, shared a touching moment as her father met his infant granddaughter for the first time.
Exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra returns to Thailand