The move is a part of police attempts to bring the former prime minister back to serve a jail term after the ruling in her trial over her government’s rice-pledging scheme.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks yesterday (Oct 30) confirmed the revocation of the Thai passports of the former prime minister.
Details of the decision were unveiled earlier by deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul.
Gen Srivara said the ministry had voided four passports belonging to the absconded former prime minister recently. These were two diplomatic passports and two ordinary passports, he added.
The ministry’s decision followed a request by police who are trying to limit her ability travel and put pressure on her to come back to serve her sentence.
The police moved to request the revocation of Yingluck’s passports after she failed to make an appeal to the assembly of the Supreme Court judges within 30 days of the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions’ ruling to jail her.
The court sentenced her on Sept 27 to five years in jail for failing to stop false and corrupt government-to-government rice sales under the scheme. The ruling was made in absentia as Yingluck fled the country before the judgement.
The deadline for the former prime minister to file an appeal expired on Friday (Oct 27).
Yingluck’s lawyer Norawit Lalaeng earlier said the former premier has not contacted him since she failed to turn up to hear the court ruling on Aug 25.
The court rescheduled the reading of the ruling for Sept 27, which she also failed to attend.
Her whereabouts remain unconfirmed so far, and police have enlisted Interpol’s assistance in their attempts to locate her.
Yingluck reportedly fled to Dubai before travelling to London, where she is believed to have sought political asylum.
When reached by the Bangkok Post for comment, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Thailand Brian Davidson said, “I haven’t heard of that and I have no comment on that; however, the Thai government has the authority over the passports of any Thai nationals.”
He also denied knowledge of Yingluck’s whereabouts.
Somkid Chuakong, a former Pheu Thai Party MP for Ubon Ratchathani, said he understood the passports were revoked according to regulations, but thought it would be unlikely to affect the Pheu Thai Party as Yingluck would probably not travel during this period.
Yingluck will be maintaining a low profile and is only likely to come out to say something when the National Council for Peace and Order allows political activities again, he said.
Pheu Thai sources say they believe that Yingluck will emerge “one day” to explain the reasons behind her decision to flee.
“She will definitely appear to make those issues clear when an appropriate time comes,” a source in the party said, adding that it is thought she will speak publicly once she has had her asylum status confirmed.
It was reported that Yingluck has sought political asylum in UK but it has not been confirmed whether her request has been granted.
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