Bangkok, Aug 22 (UNI) Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej today said his government would not seek extradition of his predecessor who had skipped bail and sought political asylum in Britain.
Mr Sundaravej also turned down demands from an influential anti-government civil society movement for cancellation of the diplomatic and ordinary passports of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a military coup two years ago.
Thousands of protestors under the banner of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) which had spearheaded mass street protests against Mr Shinawatra leading to his ouster in September 2006, rallied this week outside the British Embassy and the Thai Foreign Ministry, demanding Mr Shinawatra's extradition from Britain.
The PAD submitted a petition to Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag, asking the Foreign Ministry to cancel the diplomatic and ordinary passports of Mr Shinawatra as the former Prime Minister and his wife were trying to escape legal prosecution in Thailand.
The Foreign Minister said a decision on cancellation of Mr Shinawatra's passport would have to be taken by the Prime Minister.
Mr Shinawatra and his wife had to appear before a court in Bangkok on August 11 to answer corruption charges. The duo were allowed to travel abroad by the court after his wife was freed on bail following a three-year jail sentence for tax evasion.
They instead travelled to London, from where the former Prime Minister issued a statement alleging political persecution in Thailand.
Mr Shinawatra, 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.
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