ID :
Wed, 08/13/2008 - 18:35
Auther :

FM asks court to confirm arrest warrant for Thaksin

VIENTIANE, Aug 13 (TNA) -- Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has
officially asked the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of
Political Positions to confirm that it has issued arrest warrants for
ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife so that it may
proceed with revoking the premier's diplomatic passport, a senior ministry official said Wednesday.

Permanent Secretary Virasak Footrakul told journalists while on a two-day official visit to Laos, ending Wednesday, that his deputy Pensak Chalarak had sent a letter on Tuesday to the chief judge of the court enquiring whether it had issued the arrest warrants for the couple, who have fled to England.

The confirmation from the court will be used for considering the
revocation of the diplomatic passport of Mr. Thaksin, who was ousted in a bloodless coup on Sept 19, 2006, Mr. Virasak said.

After receiving the confirmation, the ministry will report to Foreign
Minister Tej Bunnag, he said, adding that the ministry would then notify the Thai embassy in London which would coordinate with the Home and Foreign Offices of the British government to help extradite Mr. Thaksin.

While Mr. Thaksin holds a diplomatic passport, his wife and his three
children carry ordinary passports, he said.

The court on Monday issued arrest warrants for the arrest of the couple after they failed to appear at a court hearing in regard to a land purchase case in Bangkok.

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

While official notification has not yet come to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the action of having issued arrest warrents for the high-profile couple on Monday received media attention worldwide, as well as the couple forfeiting Bt13 million in bail money.

The high-flying Mr. Thaksin owns a home in Britain and one year ago bought the Manchester City football club.

It was reported in London's Daily Mail noted that a cash-poor Mr. Thaksin was forced to borrow 2 million British pounds in July (over Bt120 million) to pay Manechester City club salaries.

While doing business in the UK makes it less likely that he can be
extradited, a conviction in Bangkok could cost Mr. Thaksin the privilege of owning the Manchester club.