In rejecting the suit, the court said the Department of Consular Affairs had the authority to issue or not issue passports, including revoking the passports of Thai nationals. The department’s revocation of Thaksin’s passports was in line with the law, said the court.
In the suit filed on his behalf, the fugitive former prime minister accused the chief of the Department of Consular Affairs and the permanent secretary for foreign affairs of illegally revoking the passports on May 26 last year.
The ministry cancelled Thaksin’s passports following media interviews he gave in South Korea. The interviews were deemed “inappropriate” by security authorities who claimed Thaksin’s comments undermined national security and dignity.
In an interview with the Chosun Ilbo newspaper in Seoul on May 20, 2015, Thaksin claimed that privy councillors supported the anti-government protests that culminated in the military coup that ousted his sister Yingluck’s government on May 22, 2014.
After the 2006 coup, all Thaksin’s passports were revoked, but the Yingluck government reinstated his regular passports in 2011.
Thaksin’s lawyer, Watthana Tiangkoon, who submitted the suit on Thaksin’s behalf, said yesterday that he would notify Thaksin about the verdict. The lawyer said there were some legal issues that could be raised in further proceedings.
The legal team would appeal the verdict within 30 days, Mr Watthana said.
In 2008, the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced Thaksin to two years in prison for helping his former wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra buy prime state land in the Ratchadaphisek area of Bangkok when he was prime minister in 2003.
Thaksin fled the country after being granted bail to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics just before the court handed down the sentence. He has not returned since.
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