Thaksin aide denies UK talks | Bangkok Post: news

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Thaksin aide denies UK talks

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An aide to Thaksin Shinawatra has denied knowledge of reports that Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat and high-ranking officers from the ministry were flying to meet Thaksin in the United Kingdom. 

Noppadon Pattama, Thaksin's legal adviser, declined to comment on the report, saying only that he had spoken with the deposed former premier on Saturday and was not informed about any such meeting.

He said Thaksin would stay in the UK until the end of this month. He was also due to deliver a speech on the economy and the Asian region in Italy by Sept 15, he said.

Reports said ACM Sukumpol and his entourage left Bangkok at noon on Friday.

ACM Sukumpol has faced criticism over the transfers of senior Defence Ministry officials who disagreed with his choice for a new permanent secretary.

Media reports said the minister and Thaksin were expected to discuss concerns that the Administrative Court may block ACM Sukumpol's order to transfer defence permanent secretary Sathian Phoemthongin and his deputy Chatree Thatti to inactive posts.

ACM Sukumpol wanted to promote assistant army chief Thanongsak Apirakyothin, reportedly a Thaksin favourite, to replace Gen Sathian who is to retire next month. Gen Sathian favoured his deputy Gen Chatree as his successor.

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