Arrest warrant against Thai ex-PM Thaksin

BANGKOK: A Thai court on Monday issued an arrest warrant for fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra after he failed to turn up for a defamation case filed against him by the army. The ruling would appear to mean little as Thaksin lives abroad anyway to avoid a jail sentence handed down in 2008 for graft, but it is another setback for the former telecoms tycoon with some seeing it as the latest attempt to ensure he never returns to power. Three governments backed by Thaksin have been forced to step down by the courts or military since 2006. Thaksin is accused of defaming the military during interviews given to a South Korean newspaper in May that were later posted on YouTube. In rare comments to foreign media, Thaksin accused the military of being part of a conspiracy that overthrew Thaksin’s sister, former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, in 2014, days before a bloodless military coup. — Reuters