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Thaksin faces arrest if he returns to Thailand, senior official says

Thaksin faces arrest if he returns to Thailand, senior official says

Deposed Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will be arrested if he returns home from a self-imposed exile as planned, even if his victorious allies form a government following last weekend's general election, officials said yesterday.
Thaksin and members of his family face an array of corruption-related charges from the former leader's six years in office. He was overthrown in a bloodless, military coup last year and has lived abroad since then, but he said Tuesday he was looking into returning in coming months.
"The court and police had already issued arrest warrants on him so once he arrives back to Thailand the authorities concerned are duty-bound by law to arrest him," Samphan Sarathana, a senior official in the Office of the Attorney General told The Associated Press.
Samphan, a director-general in the office, said the results of the election, won by the pro-Thaksin People's Power Party or PPP, had no bearing on the legal cases against the former prime minister.
"The case has gone too far for a reversal," he said.
Thaksin said Tuesday in Hong Kong that he is exploring options to come back to Thailand between mid-February and April. He vowed to stay out of direct politics but said he was prepared to serve as adviser to the PPP.
An arrest warrant was issued for Thaksin in August after he failed to appear in court in a case involving conflict of interest in a land deal while he was in power. His wife Pojamarn is accused of illegally buying real estate from a government agency effectively controlled by her husband.
The military-appointed government that succeeded Thaksin launched several investigations into his alleged corruption and have frozen millions of dollars of his family's assets. Other cases against him and family members are pending.


Updated : 2021-06-25 03:19 GMT+08:00