Thailand's ousted premier and wife on immigration blacklist

Thailand's deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife have been placed on a immigration police blacklist and will face immediate arrest if they return to the kingdom, officials confirmed Thursday.

Thailand's ousted premier and wife on immigration blacklist
Thailand's deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife have been placed on a immigration police blacklist and will face immediate arrest if they return to the kingdom, officials confirmed Thursday.

"This is normal procedure because arrest warrants have been issued for them so if police officers find Thaksin they should detain him and bring him to court," said Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat.

On Tuesday, Thailand's Supreme Court issued arrest warrants for Thaksin and his wife, Potjaman, for failing to answer a summons to testify in an abuse-of-power case against them for the 22.7 million dollar purchase of a 5-hectare plot of Bangkok land at a state auction in 2003, when Thaksin was still premier.

Thaksin, since being ousted by a military coup on September 19, 2006, has been living in self-exile in London where he has purchased several properties and the Manchester City football club.

Thailand is expected to eventually seek his extradition under a 1912 extradition treaty with Great Britain.

"We will have to wait for the attorney general to ask us to process the matter," said Tharit, who added that Thailand had no immediate plans to cancel Thaksin's passport.

Thaksin and Potjaman may face more arrest warrants on Friday if they fail to appear for another court case against them on charges of concealing their share holdings in SC Assets, a listed company.

Under Thai law all politicians must disclose their assets and shareholding upon entering office and after leaving.

Thaksin was prime minister from 2001-06. His six years in power were dogged by accusations that he manipulated policies and regulations to seek business benefits for his family-owned Shin Corp group and political cronies.

Thaksin's political fortunes started to decline in January 2006, after his family sold their 49-per-cent holding in Shin Corp to Singapore's Temasek Holdings in a 1.9-billion-dollar, tax-free deal that irked the Thai public and raised questions about his credibility as a leader.

The deposed premier has said that he will not return to Thailand until democracy is restored.

DPA
Last Mod: 16 Ağustos 2007, 19:24
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