Thai defense chief's visit to Britain irrelevant to ex-PM Yingluck: official

Li Jiayao

BANGKOK, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Thai Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan is leaving for Britain on Tuesday in an official errand which is by no means relevant to former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, said a high-ranking Thai army general on Tuesday.

Thailand's Defense Undersecretary Gen. Chaicharn Changmongkol categorically denied that Prawit, who concurrently acts as deputy prime minister, might manage to keep Yingluck from being granted political asylum in Britain.

Prawit is scheduled to visit Britain from Tuesday until Friday during which he will meet with his British counterpart Michael Fallon and British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field in London.

They are scheduled to discuss defense and security issues and nothing about Yingluck, according to the Thai defense undersecretary.

Chaicharn's comments apparently dampened criticisms in the Thai media that Prawit might probably take steps during his London visit to keep Yingluck from managing to file for a political asylum.

Late last month, Yingluck failed to appear before the Supreme Court which had planned to deliver a final judgment on a historical criminal lawsuit filed against the former premier involving her previous government's rice subsidy scandals.

An arrest warrant was issued by court for Yingluck, who was believed to have fled the country.

The Supreme Court put off the reading of its verdict on Yingluck's case until Sept. 27.


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