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Thaksin's pardon petition being considered: official
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20:40, September 01, 2009

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Thailand's Justice Ministry's legal experts are studying a petition filed by the red-shirted people to determine if it is appropriate for the justice minister to take in responding to it, the ministry's official said Tuesday.

On August 17, the red-shirted group handed some 500 boxes of petition letters to the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary for a loyal pardon for ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and it was forward to the ministry for consideration.

Thaksin was ousted by the 2006 military coup as he was accused of corruption, and kept in exile since then. In February, 2008, Thaksin returned to Thailand to face corruption charges, but he later fled into exile again and was convicted in absentia.

Kittipong Kitayarak, permanent secretary to the Justice Ministry said the red-shirted people's petition seeking the royal pardon for Thaksin was unusual relatively compared to conventional ones, the website by The Nation newspaper reported.

He cited that neither the fugitive ex-premier nor any of his close relatives are among the petitioners.

Under Thai laws, criminals can only petition for the royal amnesty after they have served time for a certain period and expressed repentance. But, Thaksin has not served any time in prison, nor admitted to any wrongdoing, and according to the laws, only his family members can petition for the royal pardon.

It is found that only the last sentence of the whole petition has mentioned a request for the royal amnesty for Thaksin, while the remainder is a "descriptive essay of different matters," the senior official said.

Kittipong said once the findings are clear and complete, the permanent secretary's office will prepare a report, which will be submitted to Justice Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga for further action.

Source: Xinhua

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