Yingluck Shinawatra

Thailand asks Britain to extradite fugitive former PM Yingluck

Ousted Thai leader is wanted back home for corruption related to a rice subsidies scheme critics argue was used to buy votes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 July, 2018, 4:51pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 July, 2018, 8:47pm

The Thai government has sought the extradition of former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from Britain, where she is believed to have been based since fleeing Thailand last year to avoid a jail sentence, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

The BBC’s Thai-language website said the Thai embassy in London has submitted a letter along with copies of relevant judgment documents and an arrest warrant requesting British authorities extradite Yingluck so she can face justice at home.

“The embassy, upon instruction of the Royal Thai Government and in accordance with the above-mentioned treaty, hereby requests the extradition of Miss Yingluck Shinawatra, a Thai citizen, believed to reside within the United Kingdom,” read the letter dated July 5 and submitted to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, referring to a 1911 extradition treaty.

Thai Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks declined to comment on the extradition request.

The website reported in May that Yingluck obtained a multiple-entry visa from Britain.

On Saturday, Yingluck was seen in a video clip posted on Instagram in which she said that she is now living in Covent Garden in London’s West End.

Yingluck, who was prime minister from 2011 until she was ousted by Thailand’s Constitutional Court soon before a coup in 2014, fled abroad in August last year amid a criminal court case against her.

The following month she was sentenced in absentia to five years in jail for mishandling a rice subsidy project that caused massive losses.