Thai court issues arrest warrant for former premier

Bangkok, Oct 12 (IANS) Thailand’s criminal court on Monday issued an arrest warrant against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra after he failed to appear in court in connection with a defamation case.

In the lawsuit filed by the Thai army, Thaksin is accused of damaging the army’s reputation while giving interviews in South Korea from May 19 to 22, Xinhua news agency reported.

The court accepted the case and scheduled the first hearing on Monday for the plaintiff and defendant to examine evidences.

Thaksin’s lawyer said the former premier could not show up for the hearing as he is now living in exile in a foreign country. The arrest warrant was then issued against him.

Thaksin has remained in self-exile overseas since a 2006 military coup ousted him from premiership.

Shortly after his interviews in South Korea, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs revoked a couple of Thai passports issued for Thaksin earlier on the ground that he launched a verbal attack against the country.

Earlier in September, the National Council for Peace and Order issued an order under Article 44 of the interim constitution to strip Thaksin of his police rank.

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