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Thaksin says Interpol won't act on arrest warrant

Thaksin says Interpol won't act on arrest warrant

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Wednesday that Interpol would not execute a Thai warrant for his arrest on terrorism charges because it was politically motivated.
Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup and later fled abroad ahead of a corruption conviction, told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television in a telephone interview that he had never supported violent protest. The ABC did not say from where Thaksin was speaking, but said he was living in exile and hiding from Thai authorities.
The Thai Criminal Court ordered an arrest warrant on Tuesday on terrorism charges that accuse Thaksin of a role in fomenting two months of anti-government unrest by his so-called Red Shirt supporters in Bangkok that left 88 people dead.
Thaksin said Interpol, the Paris-based international police intelligence-sharing association, would not act on such a groundless and politically motivated warrant.
"Interpol have their own criteria to judge, that is, to not be politically motivated," Thaksin said.
"This is clearly politically motivated and there is no ground," he added.
An Interpol official was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.
Thaksin said he did not know if the Red Shirt rebellion was over. But he said he had never supported violence.
"In my mind, I always advocate ... peaceful protest," he said. "Thailand needs reconciliation."
He described the burning of buildings blamed on his supporters as a "set up."
"The big fire ... must be the work of (a) professional," he said.
He said it was "definitely" not the work of a Red Shirt and "it must be well planned ahead."
"As an ex-priest, I can assure you that this is a well planned and professionally done" act of arson, he said.
Thaksin has been accused by the government of being a key force behind Red Shirt protesters who seized areas of downtown Bangkok before being overcome by army troops last week.
The Thai issued the charges, which carry a death penalty, a day after testimony by the Department of Special Investigations into Thaksin's alleged involvement in the protests. The department alleged that Thaksin committed, threatened to commit or supported terrorist acts, but the court gave no further details.


Updated : 2021-03-01 19:07 GMT+08:00