By Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper/Asia News Network
(Posted by CAAI News Media)
Cambodia issued a statement Friday, saying it would not extradite the former Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra if requested by the Thai government.
The statement was released just a few hours before Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen left for Thailand to attend Asean Summit in Hua Hin and Cha-am districts.
"The spokesman of the Royal Government of Cambodia would like to make it clear about its position that Cambodia will not extradite Thaksin on any request made by the Thai government if he decides to stay in the kingdom of Cambodia," said a statement of the spokesman of the Cambodian government.
The statement is made just a day after Thai government threatened to request Cambodia to extradite Thaksin, who ran away from two-year jail term in Thailand , if he visited Cambodia.
The threat came after veteran politician Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh visited Cambodia and held talk with Hun Sen on Wednesday.
Chavalit told Thai reporters in Bangkok that Hun Sen offered a house for fugitive ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra who he regarded as his old friend.
The statement continued that the relations and cooperation would maintain and continue in all fields between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand.
The statement explained that the extradition treaty between the two country states that the requested party has grounds for mandatory refusal if it considers the offense for which the extradition request is made by the requesting party as a political offense.
The requested party also has a ground for the mandatory refusal if the requested party has well-founded reasons to suppose that the request for extradition made by the requesting party aims to institute criminal proceedings against or execute punishment upon the person, or that the position of the person sought in judicial proceedings will be prejudiced for any of the reasons mentioned above.
The statement added that based on the two reasons the Cambodian government has a right to make an interpretation whether the case against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is politically motivated or not.
The Prime Minster Hun Sen 's offer to allow Thaksin to stay in Cambodia is a virtuous gesture as Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thaksin are old friends, who shall help each other in a difficult situation and this moral attitude does not necessarily mean that it is an interference in the internal affairs of Thailand, the statement said