Former Thai premier seeks asylum in Britain (Lead)

August 11th, 2008 - 1:44 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Thai Airways
Bangkok, Aug 11 (Xinhua) Thailand’s former premier Thaksin Shinawatra Monday announced his decision to seek political asylum in Britain. Thaksin issued a statement from London in this regard after he and his wife Pojaman failed to return to Bangkok as scheduled to testify in the court for corruption charges Monday.

The statement, hand-written and signed by the ex-premier, was read on Thai TV stations Monday.

Thaksin said he had to seek asylum in Britain because he and his family did not receive justice in Thai courts, which had been influenced by his political opponents.

Thaksin said he and his family had been unfairly treated ever since the Sep 19, 2006 military coup ousted his administration when he was attending the United Nations general assembly in New York.

He also said there were attempts to assassinate him.

Thaksin and his wife Pojaman was reportedly scheduled to return to Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight Sunday from Beijing, where the couple attended the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony last Friday.

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