PHNOM PENH – Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry has denied reports that Thai authorities have asked for help in tracking down former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
His comments came after Thai media reported officials had contacted their counterparts in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates in the hunt for Ms Yingluck, who they believe travelled through one or more of the countries to escape.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday his Foreign Ministry was seeking cooperation with the six countries through diplomatic channels and checking immigration points along Thai borders to find Ms Yingluck, who fled Thailand shortly before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions’ ruling in her trial for dereliction of duty in managing her government’s loss-ridden rice-pledging scheme.
Thai media has suggested she made her way to Cambodia where she boarded her private jet to Singapore before flying on to Dubai where Mr Thaksin, himself ousted in a 2006 coup, spends at least part of his time in self-imposed exile to avoid criminal charges in Thailand.
Some say she entered the country by boat via Koh Kong province. Others said she may have come by helicopter from Thailand’s Trat or Chachoengsao provinces, while another theory is that she drove over the border to Phnom Penh, where she caught a flight out of the country.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday denied allowing Ms Yingluck to transit through the country to Dubai.
“All airlines checked on Ms Yingluck’s disappearance and alleged travel through Cambodia,” Hun Sen said.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha shrugged off a viral tweet by ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday apparently comparing the Thai authorities to tyrants in relation to the case against his youngest sister Yingluck who fled the country last week.
Gen Prayut suggested the tweet — Thaksin’s first in two years — would only be taken seriously by people bereft of critical thinking skills. Thaksin quoted a French philosopher to imply the military regime is using the justice system as a shield to serve its own ends.
By Mom Sophon