Saturday, October 13, 2007

AP: Thai Prosecutors Head to Britain for the Thaksin Extradition

Thailand, Britain to discuss possible extradition of ousted prime minister

BANGKOK, Thailand: Thai prosecutors flew to England on Friday to discuss with their British counterparts the possibility of extraditing ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to face corruption charges back home.

"The purpose of the trip is to consult with British prosecutors to see if the charges (that Thaksin faces) in the Supreme Court are considered offenses that could be subject to penalty in both countries, and whether that could be a basis for his extradition," Thai Attorney-General Chaikasem Nitisiri told reporters.

In general, countries will only extradite a suspect if he is charged with an offense that is a crime in the country where he is taking refuge as well as in the country seeking custody.

Extradition is usually a lengthy and complicated procedure, and most Western countries are also reluctant to agree to it in cases involving political figures.

Chaikasem said four Thai prosecutors are expected to be in England for nine days to discuss legal procedures — based on a 1911 extradition treaty between the two countries — but that they would not ask for extradition during this trip.


I would wager a lot of money that these so-called prosecutors won't meet anybody from the British government.

I will also predict that nobody from the Thai media establishment will confirm if these prosecutors met anybody from the British government. Certainly, no Thai reporter will make these prosecutors accountable for their nine day junket. Will the public get to see the itinerary?

When the prosecutors come back, we will only hear their opinion and won't get a single quote from a British official, giving a reason why they think extraditing Thaksin won't work.

In the end, this is what will happen: the prosecutors will determine that they can't extradite Thaksin and will blame this on the British being uncooperative.

The Thai media will go into their usual right-wing nationalist frenzy about how a big powerful country has bullied poor little Thailand in their pursuit of justice.

We will get at least a months worth of columns and editorials from The Nation blaming the UK for not sending Thaksin home, including how Thaksin's money bought off every British official.

By the way, I don't know why it will take nine days to find out the answer to their questions. I am sure that the British Embassy could have passed on the "proof' the prosecutors had on Thaksin to the British Home Office and receive an answer to their queries through back channels. There certainly is no pressing need for Thai prosecutors to go on a luxury junket to London to get answers to questions that would probably take no more than a couple of hours in consultation with a state attorney and a government minister.

Here is a link to the 1911 Extradition Treaty between the UK and Thailand(Siam)

Note these articles:
Article 4

The extradition shall not take place if the person claimed on the part of the Government of the United Kingdom, or the person claimed on the part of the Government of Siam, has already been tried and discharged or punished, or is still under trial in the territory of Siam or in the United Kingdom respectively for the crime for which his extradition is demanded.

If the person claimed on the part of the Government of the United Kingdom, or if the person claimed on the part of the Government of Siam, should be under examination for any crime in the territory of Siam or in the United Kingdom respectively, his extradition shall be deferred until the conclusion of the trial and the full execution of any punishment awarded to him.

Article 5

A fugitive criminal shall not be surrendered if the offence in respect of which his surrender is demanded is deemed by the Party on whom the demand is made to be one of a political character, or if he prove that the requisition for his surrender has in fact been made with a view to try or punish him for an offence of a political character.

Article 7

The requisition for extradition shall be made through the diplomatic agents of the High Contracting Parties respectively.

The requisition for the extradition of the accused person must be accompanied by a warrant of arrest issued by the competent authority of the State requiring the extradition, and by such evidence as, according to the laws of the place where the accused is found, would justify his arrest if the crime had been committed there.

There is no doubt that this extradition is political in nature, and there is no doubt in my mind that Thai prosecutors don't have the evidence needed to prosecute Thaksin in a British court.


sooksiam said...

Fonzi, my sweetie pooh, why are you so keen on this news? I think it is blatantly obvious that the journey to the UK of these prosecutors is just a pantomime.

It is not about the result my dear, it is all about the action.

Fonzi said...


Wow, we agree on something!