Prosecutor Backtracks on Effort to Extradite Thaksin

A file photo of former leaders Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra.

BANGKOK — A public prosecutor on Wednesday said an extradition request for fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra can’t be made without a police request.

Just a day after announcing that efforts to extradite Thaksin were underway, the prosecutor in charge of overseas cases said police have yet to make a formal request to the attorney’s office. On Friday, Thaksin – wanted in Thailand for a corruption conviction – is set to visit Hong Kong.

“We don’t have sufficient information,” Chatchom said in an interview. “Prosecutors cannot start the process unless the police gives us information on his whereabouts. Only then can we compile and send the request to Hong Kong authorities.”

Police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen could not be reached for comment as of publication time.

In an Instagram post, Thaksin said he would attend his daughter’s wedding Friday in Hong Kong. The twice-elected politician was ousted in a 2006 coup and convicted of corruption two years later, though he fled Thailand shortly before the verdict was announced. He’s been living in exile since.

Although wedding invitation cards identified the venue as Rosewood Hotel, the prosecutor said police must first confirm the location.

“Maybe the police will use that as their information, too. Maybe a request is being compiled as we speak,” Chatchom said.