ID :
Wed, 08/13/2008 - 09:51
Auther :

Thai FM considers revoking Thaksin's diplomatic passport

VIENTIANE, Aug 13 (TNA) -- Thailand's foreign ministry is considering
revoking the diplomatic passport of ousted prime minister Thaksin
Shinawatra after a Thai court issued arrest warrants for him and his wife Pojaman for failing to appear at a court hearing in regard to a land purchase case in Bangkok on Monday, said Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag on Tuesday.

Mr. Tej, on a two-day official visit to Laos starting Tuesday, told
journalists that the Supreme Court which issued the arrest warrants for
the couple on Monday must first officially inform the ministry.

The ministry of foreign affairs has not received information regarding the
matter from the court or the prosecutor, he said, adding that ministry
officials would need also to review regulations regarding the revocation
of diplomatic passports.

The study will be conducted as soon as possible in order to ensure that it
does not violate Thai law and the ministry's regulations, Mr. Tej said.

Mr. Thaksin had his diplomatic passport returned to him by former foreign
minister Noppadon Pattama who had previously been the ousted premier's
legal advisor.

Ousted in a bloodless coup d'etat in September 2006, Mr. Thaksin and his
wife failed to appear early Monday at the Supreme Court's Criminal
Division for Holders of Political Positions to fight charges relating to
the Bangkok land scandal which occurred in 2003.

The couple flew to London from Beijing after attending the opening
ceremony of Beijing Olympics held last Friday.

The court later in the day issued arrest warrants for them and confiscated
their bail totaling Bt13 million.

Multi-billionaire Mr. Thaksin has his own residence in England and also
bought Manchester City football club last year. His status of doing
business in the UK raises questions as to whether his extradition is

Mr. Tej said he would rather not say that an "obstacle" existed, but
ministry officials would need to enquire with the Thai embassy in London,
as well as the Home and Foreign offices of the British government as to
whether there is a possibility of extraditing the couple to Thailand.