Thaksin loses battle for passports

Thaksin loses battle for passports

Flashback 2005: Then prime minister, Thaksin showed off a new passport to the media. (File photo)
Flashback 2005: Then prime minister, Thaksin showed off a new passport to the media. (File photo)

The Administrative Court has dismissed Thaksin Shinawatra's petition for an injunction against the state's revocation of his two passports as an initial hearing found no irregularities in the case.

A delay to the revocation during the court's examination of Thaksin's lawsuit against Foreign Affairs officials could be a hindrance to the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the judge reasoned Monday.

The defendants - chief of the Department of Consular Affairs and permanent secretary for Foreign Affairs - testified that revoked passports cannot be brought back into use because the move would not comply with international safety standards on passport issuance.

The two defendants also based their passport revocation on a police report and the cabinet's view that Thaksin's interview given to media members in Seoul, South Korea on May 20, 2015, affected national security and dignity.

While the government further investigates this alleged crime, if the injunction is issued, it may lead to unwanted impacts, the court added.

"We now have to wait for its final ruling" on the accusation that the MFA unlawfully issued the revocation order, said Thaksin's lawyer Watthana Tiangkun.

He earlier told the court, on behalf of Thaksin, that the revocation was a discriminatory practice, now causing problems for Thaksin who cannot conduct financial transactions abroad or return to Thailand.

Waiting for the court to give the final verdict in the case will only cause irreparable damage to Thaksin, Mr Watthana said after Monday's ruling.

The two passports - one a diplomatic passport and the other a regular passport - were revoked on May 26 of last year after the former prime minister, during his interview in South Korea, accused privy councillors of supporting the 2014 coup that toppled the administration of Yingluck Shinawatra, his younger sister.

Thaksin, toppled in a bloodless coup in 2006, is living in self-exile after the Supreme Court sentenced him to two years in jail in 2008 for abuse of power for helping his then-wife purchase land in the Ratchadaphisek area from the state.

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