Former Thai premier Thaksin flies to Nicaragua

April 18th, 2009 - 12:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangkok, April 18 (DPA) Thailand’s fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra Saturday left the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Nicaragua, where he has been granted a diplomatic passport, media reports said.
Thaksin has been in the UAE for the past month, the Arabian Business magazine said.

Thaksin’s Thai passport was revoked Monday after he was charged with inciting his supporters to create chaos in Thailand in a bid to topple the government via a phone-in addresses from abroad in which he at one point reportedly called for a “people’s revolution”.

Thai foreign ministry spokesman Tharit Charungwat confirmed Friday that Nicaragua in January issued a diplomatic passport to Thaksin in his capacity as a special envoy for foreign investment.

Tharit said the Thai government has urged Nicaragua to extradite Thaksin although the two countries have no extradition treaty.

Thaksin, a former billionaire telecommunications tycoon who was prime minister from 2001 to 2006, faces a two-year jail term in Thailand for abuse of power and an arrest warrant that accused him of inciting violent protests this month that forced the government to cancel a regional summit on April 11-12 and led to two deaths in Bangkok.

He has been living in self-imposed exile since August but continues to use his foreign bases to wage campaigns against the current government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajjiva.

Thaksin, who was overthrown by a coup in September 2006, claimed to have been unjustly accused and victimized by factions jealous of his popularity among the poor, whom he courted and won over with populist policies during his two-term premiership.

His family is currently fighting Thai courts that have frozen $2 billion of its bank deposits.

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