PHNOM PENH: The Cambodian government on Wednesday has returned a letter of denial to Thailand's request for extraditing ex-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
In a letter to the Thailand Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodian government said that with reference to Thai's Note dated November 10 "requesting the provisional arrest for the purpose of extradition of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the Royal Government of Cambodia considers the prosecution and legal process against Thaksin Shinawatra as a politically motivated proceeding."
"The condemnation of H.E. Mr.Thaksin Shinawatra is logically the consequence of the military Coup d'Etat in September 2006 which resulted in his removal from the post of Prime Minister, while he was overwhelmingly and democratically elected by the Thai people," it said.
"Therefore, taking into consideration of the absolute realities, the Royal Government of Cambodia is not in a position to make the provisional arrest for the purpose of extradition of H.E. Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra as requested."
Thaksin Shinawatra arrived at Phnom Penh on Tuesday morning to take up his new job as the adviser of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Royal Government. He will give a lecture to some 300 Cambodian economists on Thursday.
It remains unclear when he will leave Cambodia, but government sources said he might not stay long here.
Relations between the two neighboring countries were further strained recently after Cambodia named Thaksin its economic adviser. Thailand recalled its ambassador Thursday, and Cambodia followed suit.
Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 military coup for alleged corruption and other charges. His supporters say he should be pardoned and returned to power. Since the coup, Thaksin has lived abroad to escape a corruption conviction and two-year prison sentence.