Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has not returned to Thailand, despite photos posted on his Instagram account appearing to place him in Bangkok, Pheu Thai deputy spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said.
This photo of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra was uploaded to his Instagram account on April 14 and appears to place him in Bangkok.
Two pictures posted on Instagram on April 14 and June 9, respectively, were traced to two locations - one on Phutthamonthon Sai 3 Road and the other in Phra Nakhon district of the city - fuelling speculation that the ousted premier had managed to sneak back into the country.
But Mr Anusorn quashed the rumour, saying that Thaksin's account was hacked and that he had not returned.
The posts were published when Thaksin was overseas, he said.
"Thaksin normally posts pictures himself," he said, but claimed the two photographs in question must have come from elsewhere.
The former prime minister left Thailand shortly before the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions found him guilty in 2008 of abuse of authority in the Ratchadaphisek land deal case and sentenced him in absentia to two years in jail.
Mr Anusorn said hackers infiltrating the former premier's Instagram account could be trying to shake the government led by Thaksin's sister, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
"I can confirm he has not returned to Thailand," he said.
Thaksin's lawyer Noppadon Pattama echoed Mr Anusorn's comments yesterday.
"I want to confirm that on no occasion has Thaksin come back to Thailand," he said.
Mr Noppadon said the picture of Thaksin riding a horse posted on April 14 was taken in China.
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- Writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth