BANGKOK — The Australian Embassy gave no comment Thursday after the immigration police commander said that Ambassador Allen McKinnon admitted to alerting Thai authorities in November about an Interpol red notice for the Bahraini footballer.
Lt. Gen. Surachate Hakparn said Hakeem AlAraibi, to whom Australia had granted political asylum, was arrested as a consequence of that alert. He told media Wednesday that McKinnon expressed contrition and that explained Australia “doubling its pressure” on Thailand to release AlAraibi.
Efforts to verify Surachate’s account of McKinnon’s remarks were not successful Thursday.
James Fettes, the embassy’s public diplomacy manager, responded to say a reporter’s inquiry about McKinnon’s role had been forwarded to the Media Liaison Team in Canberra.
After this story was published, the embassy sent a statement saying that the Australian government “never issued a red notice against Mr Alairaibi” but in fact it had been issued by Bahrain in “breach of Interpol’s regulations.”
It did not answer whether McKinnon had any role.
Update: This story has been updated to reflect a response sent by the embassy.