Ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra may go to exile


Rumours that ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Khunying Potjaman may go into exile overseas gained credibility late Sunday night as the couple failed to return to the Thai capital as earlier scheduled.

A source said that Thai Airways International’s TG flight 615 on which Mr Thaksin and his wife had advance reservations for their return from the Beijing Olympics arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport without the couple on board.

Their failure to appear on the flight disappointed a group of faithful supporters led by ruling People Power Party MP Pracha Prasopdee, who were waiting to meet Mr Thaksin at the airport.

Mr Pracha advised the former premier’s supporters to return home, saying the ex-premier might come back to Bangkok Monday morning instead.

However, he later revealed that he was informed the Mr Thaksin would not return for the time being.

Instead, Mr Thaksin will issue a statement from London at 9am Monday stating why he did not go to Bangkok as scheduled, Mr Pracha said without elaboration.

Earlier, an official airline source said the three Thaksin children — Panthongtae, Pinthongta and Paethongtan — departed Bangkok for London on Saturday. It was also noted the the children had been in tears when their parents left Suvarnabhumi for Beijing.

Mr Thaksin and his wife attended the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on Friday.

The former Thai prime minister was under obligation to testify Monday morning in a Supreme Court hearing on the controversial Rachadaphisek land-purchase deal.

Mr Thaksin and his wife have been accused of abuse of power by bidding for the land owned by the Financial Institutions Development Fund, a unit of the Bank of Thailand. (TNA)