Public prosecutors have sought cooperation from United Arab Emirates and Nicaragua to arrest fugitive ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
However it would be up to both countries’ decision as Thailand has not signed extradition treaty with them.
“We already submit the request to both countries via Thai foreign ministry to help locate and arrest Thaksin. We have to use diplomatic channel as we have no extradition treaty with them,” Sirisak Tiyaphan, executive director for foreign litigation at the Office of the Attorney-General.
Thaksin who ran away from the two-year jail term in Thailand on charges of abusing of power and corruption has been using Dubai of UAE as main shelter. He reportedly travelled to Nicaragua by using special passport given to him by Nicaraguan government.
Meanwhile Foreign Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Virasakdi Futrakul said that although Thailand has no treaty with both countries, it still could ask cooperation from them to catch Thaksin.
“However it is up to their decision which will under reciprocation condition. It will take long time if we want to sign extradition with a country,” he said.
It is reported that Thai foreign ministry had already forwarded the prosecutors’ request, which was submitted to the ministry in late April, to both countries and were waiting for their decision
Nicaragua, UAE begged to extradite Thaksin
Public prosecutors have asked Nicaragua and the United Arab Emirates to extradite fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who is wanted for his alleged role in the Songkran Day riots among other things.
Sirisak Tiyapan, director-general of the Office of the Attorney-General’s Foreign Affairs Department, said yesterday that the request had been made through the Foreign Ministry.
He said Thailand has no extradition treaties with the two countries, adding that the prosecutors were unaware of Thaksin’s exact whereabouts. There were recent reports that Thaksin, who was convicted in exile to two years in jail in a corruption case, was in Nicaragua and the UAE.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Court yesterday extended the probation, as requested by police, of the three red-shirt leaders accused of inciting unrest during Songkran Day riots. Veera Musigapong, Natthawut Saikua and Dr Weng Tochirakarn of the Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship will be under police watch for another 12 days.
Police said they needed to question ten more witnesses and wanted the three leaders to be available till May 17.
According to law, suspects should be indicted within 48 days or they will be set free.
The three DAAD leaders did not show up in court yesterday because they were given temporary bail on April 24. However, they are required to report to the court on June 11 because police can only detain until June 10.
In a related development, police are set to seek arrest warrants for 11 more people involved in the violent incident at the Interior Ministry on April 12, said General Thanee Somboonsap, who heads the investigative team.
This would be in addition to the 21 people already facing arrest over the incident, he said.
On that day, shortly after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva put Bangkok and surrounding provinces under emergency, many red-shirt protesters stormed into the ministry’s compound, attacked official vehicles and injured some people, including the PM’s secretary-general Nipon Promphan.
By The Nation
Published on May 5, 2009
Thaksin extradition requests sent to UAE, Nicaragua
Thailand has submitted extradition requests through diplomatic channels to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nicaragua to facilitate the forced repatriation of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a senior official at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs said today.
Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Veerasak Futrakul said on Monday that although Thailand has no extradition treaty with UAE or Nicaragua, the Kingdom can seek cooperation with them on a reciprocal and voluntary basis.
Mr. Veerasak added that it can take a considerable time to negotiate and reach agreement on a formal extradition treaty.
Mr. Thaksin, who was toppled by the September 2006 coup d’etat, was convicted and given a two-year jail term after he was found guilty of involvement in a questionable Ratchadapisek land deal. He is now living in exile and reportedly spends most of his time in Dubai after his visa was rejected by the United Kingdom.
Mr. Thaksin was accused of using Dubai as his base from where he allegedly encouraged unrest by his supporters – active under the banner the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).
He has denied these accusations but his Thai passport was revoked by the Thai Foreign Ministry mid-April following the political turmoil and street violence caused by his supporters rallying under the UDD colours.
The ousted former premier now reportedly holds a diplomatic passport issued by the Nicaraguan government.
Sources at the Foreign Ministry reported that the Office of The Attorney General sent the Thaksin extradition requests to the ministry in late April.
The requests – which ask for ‘temporary arrest’ – were later forwarded to ambassadors of the two countries involved as there are no extradition treaties between Thailand and those countries, the source said, adding that it depends on the authorities in UAE and Nicaragua whether they act on the formal requests or not.
If they remain quiet, the ministry may have to follow up again, the source said.