Former foreign minister Surapong dies of cancer

Former foreign minister Surapong dies of cancer

Former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul is seen at the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on June 10, 2018. He died on Wednesday. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul is seen at the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on June 10, 2018. He died on Wednesday. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul died of liver cancer at Siriraj Hospital on Wednesday. He was 67.

A source in the Pheu Thai Party said Surapong died after being treated at the hospital for three years. He was a former Pheu Thai MP for Chiang Mai.

Surapong was the foreign minister during the tenure of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra from 2011-2014.

He was serving a suspended two-year prison term in a ruling by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on Oct 10 last year for reissuing a passport to fugitive former prime minister Thaksin.

Surapong arrived at the courthouse on Oct 10 in a wheelchair, accompanied by his immediate family and other relatives, lawyers and nurses. That was the last time he was seen in public.

The sentence last year confirmed the prison sentence handed down on June 19, 2018, and then suspended it because of Mr Surapong’s age and his poor health.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 baht.

The same court sentenced him to two years in prison in 2018, but did not suspend the sentence.

He was found guilty of malfeasance under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and the 1999 anti-corruption law.

Mr Surapong appealed against the sentence in 2018, and a meeting of Supreme Court judges agreed to hear his case.

The case goes back to 2017, when the Office of the Attorney-General arraigned him in court after the National Anti-Corruption Commission upheld a complaint and decided there was a case against him for malfeasance while in office.

The Foreign Ministry revoked Thaksin’s official and regular passports in December 2008, blacklisted him, and sent notifications to all foreign countries.

Thaksin’s regular passport was reissued in October 2011.


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