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Thai foreign minister says Thaksin will return soon

Thai foreign minister says Thaksin will return soon

Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra plans to return to the country "soon," now that the government has returned his diplomatic passport, the foreign minister said Monday.
Thai Foreign Minister Noppadol Pattama said he met Thaksin in China over the weekend and the deposed leader said he was preparing to return to Thailand, though he didn't give an exact date.
Noppadol, a close ally of Thaksin and his former lawyer, was named foreign minister when the new Cabinet was installed after December 23 elections. The polls were the first since Thaksin was ousted in a September 2006 coup.
"Former Prime Minister Thaksin will return home soon," Noppadol told reporters, refusing to elaborate.
Thaksin's diplomatic passport was returned to him last week, Noppadol said.
Noppadol's announcement appeared to suggest that Thaksin, who has been abroad since the coup, will move up a return date he had loosely set for April. It also comes in the wake of a recent government announcement that it would welcome Thaksin back and protect him upon his return.
Thaksin's wife, Pojamarn Shinawatra, told a court last month her husband will return to Thailand as early as April to defend himself against corruption charges.
Thaksin and his wife face corruption and conflict of interest charges in connection with her illicit purchase of prime Bangkok real estate from a state agency in 2003, while he was prime minister. Thaksin also faces separate charges of concealing assets.


Updated : 2021-05-06 20:54 GMT+08:00