Deposed Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been in exile in Dubai for the last five years, has not been deported from the UAE, his lawyer said, contrary to media reports.
Thailand’s Blue Sky TV claimed that Shinawatra, who was in office between 2001 and 2006 when he deposed in a bloodless coup, had been threatened by Al Qaeda in a clip posted on YouTube. Although that video was widely seen to be a fake, the station claimed that authorities in the Gulf state had asked him to leave regardless.
Blue Sky, which is said to be affiliated with Thailand’s Democratic party, said that the 64-year old business tycoon was now preparing to move to Hong Kong.
Speaking to the Bangkok Post, however, Shinawatra’s lawyer Noppadon Pattama said that he had not been barred from the UAE, but was instead holidaying in the UK.
Shinawatra left Thailand in 2008 just two months prior to a Supreme Court decision to sentence him to two months in jail for abuse of power. His youngest sister Yingluck Shinawatra is currently prime minister of Thailand.