Former Thai PM Thaksin seeks asylum in England

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Bangkok, Aug 11: Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinwatra to seek asylum in England. Thaksin announced this on Monday, Aug 11 alleging unfair treatment by the Thai judiciary and threats to him and his family. In a statement read out on a state-run television channel here, Mr Thaksin said he was in England with his family where they would remain indefinitely.

The statement faxed to the news channel, accused Thai courts of practicing 'double standards' in the corruption trial involving Mr Thaksin and his wife. His wife Pojaman Shinawatra was sentenced to three years in jail on 31 July for evading taxes in a family business share transfer. She was freed on bail. Mr Thaksin and his wife had been allowed to travel to Beijing by the courts and had to return to Bangkok today to appear in court in connection with another corruption trial.

The former prime minister who was ousted in a bloodless military coup in September 2006 while he was abroad, said he and his family had been receiving death threats and had to move around in bullet-proof cars.

Mr Thaksin who had returned to Thailand earlier this year for the first time since his ouster, said he had expected fair treatment after the restoration of democracy.

''But the situation has worsened. What has happened to me is like a poisoned fruit that came from a poisoned tree,'' his statement added.

It alleged those who had ousted him were interfering in the cases against him and his family and there was a hidden agenda to ''get rid of me and my family''.

''These individuals see me as political enemy. They have no consideration to judicial system, truth and legal principle. I apologise for having to seek relocation to England. I ask that all my supporters to remain with me a bit longer,'' Mr Thaksin said.

UNI

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