Monday, 9 November 2009

Documents ready for extradition bid if Thaksin visits Phnom Penh

By The Nation
Mon, November 9, 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Thai Foreign Ministry has prepared documents requesting the extradition of fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra from Cambodia if he really visited Phnom Penh this week, Vice Foreign Minister Panich Vikitsreth.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Thaksin will visit Phnom Penh as his economic adviser, to lecture over 300 Cambodian economists at Cambodia's finance ministry on Thursday.

Panich said if Mr Thaksin is really in Cambodia, the Office of the Attorney General will request extradition from Cambodia as the two countries have already signed an extradition treaty.

He said all documents related to the case have already been prepared and translated to English.

The Thai foreign ministry official said that Thailand earlier requested Fiji and other countries which had treaties with the kingdom, and where Mr Thaksin was reportedly visiting.

After the request is sent to Cambodia, Thailand must wait for Cambodia's legal procedures to be carried out and if Cambodia denies the Thai request then Thailand must review the status of its bilateral relations for another step under diplomatic protocol, he said.

Following Cambodia's appointment of Thaksin as its economic adviser, Thailand has downgraded the relations, recalling its ambassador, reviewing all existing bilateral agreements and cooperation projects with Cambodia.

However, Panich said, any measures will be adopted using diplomatic protocol and would not lead to military measures as that would be the last option.

Thai Cabinet will on Tuesday considers terminating the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Thailand and Cambodia regarding the area of their overlapping maritime claims to the continental shelf.

The MoU, dated 18 June 2001, was signed by then-foreign minister Surakiart Sathirathai and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An during the Thaksin administration.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva also said on Sunday Thailand will seek extradition of ousted premier Thaksin if he visits Cambodia on November 12.

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