Ombudsman asks PM to review Thaksin passport decision


BANGKOK, Feb 15 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been urged by the Ombudsman Office to review the Foreign Ministry decision to re-issue a passport to her brother, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Ombudsman said it had earlier submitted its decision regarding the ex-prime minister to the Foreign Ministry but no action has been taken.

Raksagecha Chaecha, Deputy Secretary General of the Ombudsman Office, said the controversy over Mr Thaksin’s passport was taken into the Ombudsman’s consideration following a complaint by Somsak Kosaisuk who accused the Foreign Ministry of breaching the ministry’s Regulation on Issuance of Passport, enforced since 2005. Mr Thaksin was granted a Thai passport on Oct 26 last year.

He said the Foreign Ministry’s issuance of a passport to Mr Thaksin was based on evidence and information in 2008 which was prior to a verdict by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions to imprison the former prime minister.

Mr Thaksin was sentenced in absentia to two years imprisonment for violating of conflict of interest law concerning his ex-wife’s purchase of a parcel of state land in the capital.

Mr Raksagecha said the Ombudsman had instructed the National Police Bureau to arrest Mr Thaksin, who was on the run.

“The Foreign Ministry failed to verify the previous and new facts concerning Mr Thaksin’s status,” he said. “The Ombudsman has submitted its opinions and proposal to the Foreign Ministry but no action was taken.”

Ombudsman Sriracha Charoenpanich signed letter dated Feb 12, to the prime minister, seeking her reply within 30 days.

Ms Yingluck said she would not clarify the issue to the Ombudsman Office herself as the Foreign Ministry was authorised to do that.

The premier stated that her government did not involve with the re-issuance of her brother’s passport. She also denied as groundless the report that her brother is now in Chiang Rai while she is now on duty on a trip to the North.