BANGKOK — The prosecutor’s office said Tuesday it will seek the extradition of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra when he arrives in Hong Kong later this week for his daughter’s wedding.
Chatchom Akapin, head of the public prosecutor’s overseas department, said officials decided to act after the fugitive former leader announced on social media that he would be present Friday at Paetongtarn Shinawatra’s wedding in the Chinese city.
“Thaksin is still wanted for a conviction under Thai law,” Chatchom told reporters.
Chatchom said an extradition request would be filed as soon as officials established where Thaksin’s accommodations and travel arrangements in Hong Kong. Wedding invitations handed out to Thaksin’s acquaintances named the Rosewood Hotel on Victoria Harbour as the banquet venue.
The special administrative region has no extradition treaty with Thailand.
The twice-elected politician was ousted in a 2006 coup and convicted of corruption two years later, though he fled Thailand shortly prior to the verdict. Despite his exile, Thaksin retains immense influence over his political dynasty and supporters.
All previous Thai efforts to have Thaksin extradited have failed. The 69-year-old routinely travels between his residences in London, Dubai and Hong Kong.
Just earlier this year, Thaksin visited ancestral homes in mainland China without any legal repercussions, though Chinese state media reportedly censored details of the trip, presumably to avoid upsetting Thai authorities.
Chatchom said it will be the first time the government has filed a request for Thaksin’s extradition with Hong Kong.