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Former prime minister says Fiji, Tonga visits for investment purposes

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 13, 2009) – Former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who is being sought by the Thai government on corruption charges, is not touring the Pacific islands seeking political asylum in exchange for a rumoured US$300 million investment package, says his legal adviser Noppadon Pattama.

Noppadon told the Bangkok Post that Thaksin had phoned him and told him that he had met Fijian Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama earlier last week to discuss small investment projects, not a US$300 million investment project as speculated.

The ex-foreign minister said Thaksin insisted that he has no plan to seek political asylum since he could have applied for political asylum in Britain but decided to withdraw later.

He clarifies Thaksin has returned to Dubai and is not in Tonga saying he was only meeting world leaders and gathering investment information during his recent trip.

He also disclaimed rumours that Thaksin had used fictitious names for travelling overseas since he was well recognised all over the world, and people asked for his autograph everywhere he went.

The Thai government had failed to extradite Thaksin because other countries did not want to cooperate with a government that gave false information, he said.

Meanwhile, the newspaper reports that the Thai government’s next step would be to talk with the Fiji government on a possible extradition treaty.


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