Days before Thailand’s first election in eight years, authorities told BenarNews on Wednesday they would seek extradition of exiled leader Thaksin Shinawatra only if they have clear information about his current location.
The businessman who remains deeply popular in Thailand despite a corruption conviction was expected to visit Hong Kong this weekend for a family wedding, according to his social media.
Responding to media reports that the Thai government would ask Hong Kong to aid in Thaksin’s return, Chatchom Akkapin, chief of foreign affairs at the attorney general’s office in Bangkok, said that his whereabouts were unknown and that Thailand “did not ask for extradition.”
“We heard about the news and we contacted other country’s Interpol, but we found nothing,” Krisana Pattanacharoen, a spokesman for Thailand’s national police, told BenarNews.
“If we have clear information, we will deal with the agency involved – the Attorney General’s office – to seek extradition,” he said. Officials have made similar comments for years.
Thaksin served as prime minister from 2001 until he was overthrown in a coup in September 2006. He fled the country and has been living in exile.
Full story: BenarNews
Wilawan Watcharasakwet and Nontarat Phaicharoen
Copyright ©2019, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.