Cambodia refuses to extradite ousted Thailand PM Thaksin

[JURIST] The Cambodian government on Tuesday refused Thailand's request to extradite former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], escalating a political row that threatens to destabilize the efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [official website]. Shinawatra arrived in Cambodia earlier this week and was appointed an economic advisor [VOA report] to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, though Shinawatra will not live in the country. Both counries have recalled their ambassadors [Bangkok Post report] and Thailand has declared its extradition treaty with Cambodia null and void. Other treaties between the two countries will also be reviewed for possible termination or revocation. ASEAN meets this weekend in Singapore.

Shinawatra has been fighting from afar to keep his assets from being seized [JURIST report] by the Thai government. In April, a Thai court issued an arrest warrant [JURIST report] for Thaksin, who fled Thailand last summer, a day after he called for the government to be overthrown. Last October, a Thai court found Thaksin guilty [JURIST report] in absentia on corruption charges and sentenced him to two years in prison. In August 2008, Thai prosecutors asked the Supreme Court to seize over $2 billion [JURIST report] from Thaksin's frozen accounts and holdings in relation to the charges. In July of last year, the Thai Attorney General's Office filed corruption charges [JURIST report] against Thaksin for his role in a 2003 resolution reducing fees paid by mobile phone companies to state telecommunications agencies. Later that month, Thaksin's wife, as well as her step-brother and secretary, were convicted of tax evasion [JURIST report] as a result of her transferring $16.3 million worth of stock to the two. Thaksin was ousted from power [JURIST report] in a 2006 military coup.



 

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