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Pattaya Daily News

09 December 2010 :: 15:12:40 pm 47445

Thaksin awaiting US visa application answer: legal advisor

Thailand's ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has already applied for an entry visa to the United States and is now waiting for the result, hoping to attend a briefing on the kingdom’s situation as he was invited by a US human rights panel, his legal advisor in Thailand said on Wednesday.
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BANGKOK Dec 8 – Mr Noppadon Pattama disclosed the information on the ex-premier’s move following the expectation from some that his conviction in Thailand and outstanding arrest warrant on charges of terrorism may impact the decision of the US officials who must decide whether or not to grant him the visa.

Mr Thaksin was invited to testify at the hearing of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in Washington Dec 16 on alleged human rights violations during Thailand’s political disruptions from March to mid-May this year which led to as many as 91 deaths and more than 1,900 injuries. He will also be invited to present information on the insurgency in Thailand’s three southern border provinces, and alleged violations of free speech due to the enforcement of the ongoing state of emergency.

Showing a copy of the CSCE invitation letter to the ousted premier, Mr Noppadon said Mr Thaksin has already applied for the US entry visa, at the same time, blaming the Thai government and foreign ministry for their alleged attempt to obstruct the issuance of a US visa for the deposed premier. Mr Noppadon said the invitation, dated Nov 23, indicated that Mr Thaksin will be given seven to ten minutes to speak to the panel at 3pm Dec 16.

The US agency wants to get information on the crackdown on the anti-government protesters, the situation in the insurgency-impacted far South and other human rights violations in the kingdom, said Mr Noppadon, adding that Mr Thaksin’s written document must be sent to the CSCE by Dec 14.

As the CSCE has also invited a representative of the Thai government to the briefing, Mr Noppadon advised that the Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya should use this opportunity to explain the matter so that the committee will hear two sides of information. When asked whether the ex-premier’s arrest warrant restricts his possible entry to the US, Mr Thaksin’s legal advisor said it depends on the decision of the US authorities.

Deposed by a military coup in Sept 2006, Mr Thaksin now lives in exile abroad after evading a two-year jail term for violating a law on conflict of interest regarding a controversial Bangkok purchase of a prime land. Thailand’s Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him on terrorism charges for being behind and funding the violent actions of the Red Shirts which led to grenade attacks and arsons in the Thai capital and upcountry during the March-May demonstrations. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Kasit expressed confidence on Wednesday that Mr Thaksin will not be allowed to enter the US as several European countries have earlier rejected his entry.

Mr Kasit reasoned that the visa will be rejected as the fugitive ex-premier has evaded imprisonment for two years and still faces other charges in the kingdom. He said many embassies in Bangkok have been well-informed of the ex-premier’s status, while Thai embassies overseas also keep reporting the progress on the country’s judicial procedures, political situation and national reconciliation process to other countries, directly and indirectly.

“Most countries in Europe and America have rejected Mr Thaksin’s entry to their countries, so he (Thaksin) may not be allowed to enter the US despite being invited by members of congress and senators,” the Thai foreign minister said. National Police Bureau spokesman Pol Maj-Gen Prawut Thavornsiri said on Wednesday the national police chief has instructed the foreign department to verify which country Mr Thaksin will depart for the US, so that police will coordinate with concerned agencies to locate where the ex-premier will stay in the US to seek his extradition.

Gen Prawut however conceded it is difficult to identify the fugitive ex-premier’s address there and that Thailand has sought help from Interpol, the international police agency, to track him many times and no progress has been reported.

credit : http://www.mcot.net

Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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