Thailand restores Thaksin's diplomatic passport

Thailand's ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been given back his diplomatic passport, which was revoked after a bloodless coup against him in 2006, the foreign minister said Monday.

 Thailand restores Thaksin's diplomatic passport
Noppadon Pattama said his ministry had returned the travel document more than a week ago, and that a date for Thaksin's return from exile was likely to be announced tomorrow.

The army-backed government installed after the coup pulled the diplomatic passport, citing security risks in the wake of deadly bombings on New Year's Eve in 2006.

Noppadon was Thaksin's personal lawyer until allies of the fallen premier swept back into power following a victory in an election in December. He resigned as Thaksin's attorney after being appointed foreign minister.

Noppadon, however, said he had nothing to do with the ministry's decision to restore the diplomatic passport.

"They considered the laws and decided to reinstate the passport," he told reporters.

Thaksin has lived in self-imposed exile since the coup, mainly in Britain, where he owns the Manchester City football club.

He has continued to jet around the globe on a normal passport, but his new travel document will entitle him to more privileges with Thai embassies overseas, courtesies normally extended to the kingdom's former leaders.

Thaksin has told a court in Bangkok that he will return in May to face corruption charges brought against him by the military regime.

Noppadon said that Thaksin would announce an exact date for his return on Tuesday, but that the ex-premier planned to divide his time between Thailand and Britain, so that he can take care of his football club.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Şubat 2008, 18:34