Phuket Gazette

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Thailand to 'soon' issue passport for fugitive former premier Thaksin
Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Thailand will issue a passport for fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra "very soon", Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said yesterday.

Phuket Gazette partner newspaper The Nation quotes Surapong as saying that the passport will be issued as a "New Year's gift".

Thaksin's Thai passport was revoked after he fled the country to avoid jail following the military coup that ousted him in 2006.

"When Thaksin's passport was cancelled, there was no order from the courts or the police to seize it," Surapong said. "So I will use my authority to do whatever is not illegal under the regulations of the ministry to give the passport to ex-premier Thaksin."

The minister went on to note that he deemed it appropriate to issue Thaksin a passport despite his fugitive status because other fugitives, like veteran politicians Somchai Kunplome and Vatana Assavahame, still had their passports.

Thaksin's sister, current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, insists that she had nothing to do with the move to reissue a Thai passport for her brother.

"I have never interfered in this case; I've left it to the relevant officials," she is quoted as saying. "It is a matter to be decided by the Foreign Ministry, but must be decided in line with the law, and the principles of justice and equality”.

Thaksin's legal adviser Noppadon Pattama said the former premier had no knowledge about this plan and that he was still using the passport issued to him by Montenegro. Thaksin was stripped of his Thai passport by the previous government but received citizenship from Montenegro last year, allowing him to travel internationally.

The return of Thaksin will likely further anger large segments of the Thai population, already angry with his sister's government's suggestion of an amnesty for him. They argue that any person convicted of serious crimes should not be given a passport.

Phuket and its surrounding provinces in the south of Thailand have a long history of political conservatism and adherence to the opposition Democrat party, but there were no significant protests here during the 'Red Shirt' (pro-Thaksin) riots in Bangkok earlier this year.

Thaksin fled overseas before he was sentenced to two years in jail in 2008 for abusing his authority as prime minister by helping his then wife to buy prime state land at a discount.

There are still a number of other serious cases pending against him.
– Phuket Gazette Editors

2

If he returns, we can expect trouble on the streets again, and Thailand's tourist industry will be dealt another blow.

Posted by agogohome December 3, 2011 10:49:38AM

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3

If he returns, we can expect trouble on the streets again, and Thailand's tourist industry will be dealt another blow.

Posted by agogohome

What a load of rubbish. There is not the will or the backing for another protest. Surely the header should have been: "New years graft", not gift. 5555

Posted by Mister Ree December 3, 2011 11:22:37AM

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0    0

5

If he returns, we can expect trouble on the streets again, and Thailand's tourist industry will be dealt another blow.

Posted by agogohome

What a load of rubbish. There is not the will or the backing for another protest. Surely the header should have been: "New years graft", not gift. 5555

Posted by Mister Ree

Lets hope you're right, Mister Ree. Time will tell.

Posted by agogohome December 3, 2011 08:02:17PM

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6

Surapong should be charged with aiding and abetting a convicted criminal who absconded to escape Justice! What or who gave him the power to overturn the court's verdict and the Peoples wishes? Did Thaksin's sister appoint him? Everyone can clearly see what has been in the works since the last election! Wake up! Please!

Posted by No Justice December 3, 2011 08:46:18PM

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7

Will he be arrested and put on trial for the millions he allegedly misappropriated while in office? Guilty or innocent, justice needs to be served in the eyes of the international watchdogs. The credibility of Thailand is at stake and the stakes are very high.

Posted by Chris December 3, 2011 08:47:18PM

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8

The fugitive who was convicted on evidence must serve the sentence and face other charges when he travels back with his Thai passport. Why did he abscond to the china Olympics and then go on the run? He knew there was justice in Thailand.

Posted by dick December 4, 2011 10:05:02AM

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9

1st the passport, next the amnesty. Wake up and smell the coffee. It has been on the cards since little sis got voted in.

Posted by Sceptical John December 4, 2011 10:45:02PM

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10

1st the passport, next the amnesty. Wake up and smell the coffee. It has been on the cards since little sis got voted in.

Posted by Sceptical John

Yes, and clearly ranks higher in the PM's priorities than the floods.

Posted by Bushman Wong December 4, 2011 11:01:31PM

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11

There's reason to be wary for sure, but there is a vast difference between issuing a passport to a so called "convicted" politician and granting immunity. Having a Thai passport does not guarantee Thaksin, if he dares to come back, an avoidance of charges. However, immunity does.

Posted by Katalad December 6, 2011 09:45:31AM

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12

Surapong is hoping that Thaksin will remember him and reward him later. Got to love the reasoning for issuing him another passport.

Posted by The original Steve December 15, 2011 11:31:38PM

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12

Surapong is hoping that Thaksin will remember him and reward him later. Got to love the reasoning for issuing him another passport.

Posted by The original Steve December 15, 2011 11:31:38PM

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0    0

11

There's reason to be wary for sure, but there is a vast difference between issuing a passport to a so called "convicted" politician and granting immunity. Having a Thai passport does not guarantee Thaksin, if he dares to come back, an avoidance of charges. However, immunity does.

Posted by Katalad December 6, 2011 09:45:31AM

Reply

0    0

10

1st the passport, next the amnesty. Wake up and smell the coffee. It has been on the cards since little sis got voted in.

Posted by Sceptical John

Yes, and clearly ranks higher in the PM's priorities than the floods.

Posted by Bushman Wong December 4, 2011 11:01:31PM

Reply

0    0

9

1st the passport, next the amnesty. Wake up and smell the coffee. It has been on the cards since little sis got voted in.

Posted by Sceptical John December 4, 2011 10:45:02PM

Reply

0    0

8

The fugitive who was convicted on evidence must serve the sentence and face other charges when he travels back with his Thai passport. Why did he abscond to the china Olympics and then go on the run? He knew there was justice in Thailand.

Posted by dick December 4, 2011 10:05:02AM

Reply

0    0

7

Will he be arrested and put on trial for the millions he allegedly misappropriated while in office? Guilty or innocent, justice needs to be served in the eyes of the international watchdogs. The credibility of Thailand is at stake and the stakes are very high.

Posted by Chris December 3, 2011 08:47:18PM

Reply

0    0

6

Surapong should be charged with aiding and abetting a convicted criminal who absconded to escape Justice! What or who gave him the power to overturn the court's verdict and the Peoples wishes? Did Thaksin's sister appoint him? Everyone can clearly see what has been in the works since the last election! Wake up! Please!

Posted by No Justice December 3, 2011 08:46:18PM

Reply

0    0

5

If he returns, we can expect trouble on the streets again, and Thailand's tourist industry will be dealt another blow.

Posted by agogohome

What a load of rubbish. There is not the will or the backing for another protest. Surely the header should have been: "New years graft", not gift. 5555

Posted by Mister Ree

Lets hope you're right, Mister Ree. Time will tell.

Posted by agogohome December 3, 2011 08:02:17PM

Reply

0    0

3

If he returns, we can expect trouble on the streets again, and Thailand's tourist industry will be dealt another blow.

Posted by agogohome

What a load of rubbish. There is not the will or the backing for another protest. Surely the header should have been: "New years graft", not gift. 5555

Posted by Mister Ree December 3, 2011 11:22:37AM

Reply

0    0

2

If he returns, we can expect trouble on the streets again, and Thailand's tourist industry will be dealt another blow.

Posted by agogohome December 3, 2011 10:49:38AM

Reply

0    0

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