Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thaksin's extradition: Lengthy and complicated
BBC's Michael Dobie says the procedure to extradite Ex-Premier Thaksin Shinnawatr can be "lengthy and complicated."
Thailand and Britain have had an extradition treaty since 1911. For the request to succeed, the UK extradition courts must agree that Thaksin's crime can be considered one in Britain as well.
But British authorities will have to consider whether the cases against Thaksin are "politically motivated" as claimed by Thaksin all along.
Extradition lawyer Clive Nicholls was quoted as saying: "If it appears the request to extradite is in order to punish him for political opinions, extradition is barred."
The BBC correspondent adds that the UK courts will also look at whether Thaksin has received a fair trial and if there is the possibility of a retrial or a challenge to the conviction if he is returned.
Of course, the Thai prosecutors will argue that the latest Supreme Court's verdict to jail Thaksin for two years without a suspended sentence was based on an anti-corruption clause in the Anti-Corruption Act that is aimed at punishing politicians pursuing "conflicts of interests" activities.
Is "conflict of interest" a serious issue in British politics?