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Pattaya Daily News

26 February 2009 :: 23:02:22 pm 27986

Thailand Considers Extradition of Fugitive EX-PM Thaksin from Hong Kong

BANGKOK, Feb 26 - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Thursday that he is reviewing with concerned agencies the possibility of asking China to extradite fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to face prosecution in Thailand as the ousted premier is reportedly scheduled to deliver a speech in Hong Kong next week.
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Mr. Thaksin was sentenced in absentia to two years in jail last October after the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders found him guilty of breaching the National Counter Corruption Act by aiding his then-wife Khunying Pojaman Shinawatra win a bid for a state-owned land on Ratchadaphisek Road in 2003.

The former prime minister is also facing other corruption charges and the cases are proceeding in the courts.

According to a news report, Mr. Thaksin is scheduled to speak at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong on Monday.

Mr. Abhisit said the government is exploring the legal parameters of asking China to transfer Mr. Thaksin to Thailand to face justice and defend himself in court. The premier said he wanted all Thais to be under the same law.

Past consideration to seek extradition could not carried out because the government did not know Mr. Thaksin’s location at any given time, but now Thailand knows his schedule on Monday.

Asked whether it is appropriate for Mr. Thaksin to speak in Hong Kong, China’s Special Administrative Region, Mr. Abhisit declined to comment, saying that it was an internal matter of that country.

The prime minister said he believed Mr. Thaksin would not make comments that tarnished Thailand during his speech in Hong Kong but if there was any allegation of fault, the government could not avoid its responsibility to clarify any such assertions.

Mr. Thaksin’s planned Hong Kong speech is a rare public appearance. Since being overthrown in a military coup in September 2006 the former premier lives in exile to escape jail.

The convicted former prime minister has repeatedly said that he would not receive a fair trial if he returned to Thailand. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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