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Pattaya Daily News

27 February 2010 :: 11:02:59 am 14272

Thailand Hope to Exchange Brit for Thaksin’s Extradition

The extradition of a British National to the United Arab Emirates has given the Thai government renewed hope that the UAE will extradite fugitive ex-prime minister back to Thailand in return.
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BANGKOK 27th February 2010 [Pattaya Daily News] A British business man is to be extradited to the United Arab Emirates by a Thai court ruling. This is a move the government hopes will lead to the Persian Gulf reciprocating the deal by extraditing former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The extradition of Briton Michael Bryan Smith, [43] has been ordered by the Criminal Court as he is said to be facing charges of defrauding a company in Dubai. The two countries have been working on the extradition treaty with the Criminal Court judge stating the UAF had expressed the intention of an extradition in return.

Thaksin who was ousted in a military coup in 2006 was not mentioned during the court proceedings, but it is known the Thai government has been trying to bring the former Prime Minister back to Thailand to face charges on corruption. Thaksin was convicted on charges of conflict of interest in 2008 in his absence and sentenced to two years in prison.

Head of International Affairs for the Thai Attorney General’s office Sirisak Tiyapan told the Associated Press that prosecutors had filed a request for the extradition of Thaksin and the case is being processed according to diplomatic practice, but has not had any feed back from Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry as yet.

Since being ousted from power in the Military Coup, Thaksin has spent most of his time in Dubai. After the Dubai based Limitless Company filed charges, accusing Smith of swindling more than $660,000, the UAE prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest.

Smith has claimed to have lived in Thailand for a year prior to his arrest at the request of the UAE Embassy. Smith stated that he had resigned from his job due to conflicts with high ranking officers in the company.

Thai extradition laws support deportation of suspects that face the same charges as Smith. His Thai lawyer Prachaya Vijitpokin said he would submit an appeal on Smith’s behalf within 30 days. Thaksin remains a highly respected figure in Thailand with a wide following especially amongst the rural and urban poor. Security measures were increased prior to the potentially explosive court ruling of Thaksin’s $2.2 billion in assets on 26th February.

Reporter: Victoria Pollard

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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