Thailand to discuss Thaksin extradition in London

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BANGKOK, Oct 12 (Reuters) A team of Thai prosecutors flew to London today to talk to British counterparts about extraditing ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on corruption charges.

''We are not yet submitting, during this trip, any formal request for Britain to repatriate him,'' Nanthasak Poolsuk, head of the four-strong team of prosecutors, told Reuters.

''We will only consult British prosecutors on the legal procedures and evidence that a British court would require in agreeing to sending criminal suspects here for trial. We plan to discuss these details.'' The main case against Thaksin, ousted in September last year and accused by coup plotters of presiding over rampant corruption, stems from his wife's purchase of land in central Bangkok at an auction in which other bidders dropped out.

An Asset Examination Committee set up after the coup ruled that Thaksin, the new owner of English Premier League football club Manchester City, broke anti-graft laws barring politicians in office from deals with state agencies.

Nanthasak said his discussions in London would be based on a 1911 bilateral criminal extradition treaty signed when Thailand was called Siam.

''Issues to be discussed include whether and which financial crimes and corruption offences are covered under the treaty, considering that laws of the two countries have evolved and changed since it was concluded,'' he said.

REUTERS NY HS1222

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