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Friday, October 30, 2009

Cambodia can deny Thaksin extradition bid by Thailand: Attorney-General

BANGKOK, Oct 30 (TNA) - Cambodia reserves the right to deny a request by Thailand to extradite ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra if he stays in the neighbouring country, but substantial grounds must be provided for the denial, according to the Attorney-General Julasingh Wasantsingh.

Mr Julasingh said he did not focus on anybody in particular, but would touch only on the principle that even though Thailand and Cambodia had signed an extradition treaty, in practice the country which was asked for the extradition has the full right to deny the request.

However, that country must justify its denial in line with international practice.

As for Mr Thaksin’s case, the Office of the Attorney-General has not been informed about his whereabouts so the office could not make the request.

If the police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirm that Mr Thaksin is in Cambodia, Thai officials would seek extradition, but it depends on Phnom Penh's decision.

He added that Thailand had formerly denied such requests from some countries, but the kingdom was able to provide strong grounds to clarify its decisions in the past.

Mr Hun Sen told reporters during attending the 15th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Thailand that Mr Thaksin could remain in Cambodia as his guest and could be his economic advisor, saying he was not interfering in Thailand's internal affairs, but that Cambodia has the right to exercise its sovereignty and make such a decision.

Ousted in a bloodless coup in September 2006, convicted and sentenced to a two-year jail term for malfeasance in the controversial Bangkok Ratchadapisek land purchase, Mr Thaksin now living in self-exile abroad and is reportedly a close friend of Mr Hun Sen. (TNA)

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