Monday, 9 November 2009

Govt threatens to cut financial grant to Cambodia

Mon, November 9, 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Thailand will review its relations with Cambodia including cancelling agreements, cutting support and financial grant, if it refuses to hand over ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra after Thailand formally seeks his extradition, Vice Foreign Minister Panit Wikitset said on Monday.

Thailand will immediately request Cambodia to deport Thaksin, if he lands in there, he said. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Thaksin would visit Phnom Penh on Thursday to give a lecture on economic matters.

After sending the documents, the country will have to give Cambodia time to respond to the request. If Cambodia replies that it will not deport Thaksin, Thailand will have to review it relations with Cambodia. The government is looking at all agreements Thailand has with Cambodia including any support and financial grant, Panit said.

"We have to follow diplomatic procedures but this will not lead to military action, which will be a last resort,'' he said.

If Cambodia does not follow the extradition request or did not give any sound reason for turning down the request, it means that they clearly intend to violate the extradition treaty, Sirisak Tiyapan, director-general of the Office of the Attorney-General's Department of Foreign Litigation said on Monday.

"If Cambodia does not hand him over, it would hurt our bilateral relations, which means they do not want anything from us,'' Sirisak said.

Public prosecutors will ask Cambodia to temporarily detain Thaksin and hand him over to Thailand as soon as they know he is in Cambodia, Sirisak said.

This will depend on whether the executive branch of Cambodia wields influence on its justice system. Normally the judicial branch should be independent from the government,'' he said.

Panit said document related to extradition request for Thaksin had already been translated. This is not the first time the Foreign Ministry is preparing to send such document to foreign countries that Thakin believed to land or stay in. The ministry had earlier submitted extradition documents to Australia, Fiji and other countries Thailand has extradition treaty with and where Thaksin was reported to enter.

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