17:21 GMT +324 June 2018
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    Russia denies granting visa to fugitive Thai ex-PM

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    Russia has rejected allegations that the fugitive Thai ex-prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, has been allowed to enter Russia.

    Russia has rejected allegations that the fugitive Thai ex-prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, has been allowed to enter Russia.

    Thailand's Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya denounced on Monday the Russian and German governments for granting visas to Shinawatra.

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said the ministry had no information concerning Shinawatra's arrival in Russia.

    "In connection with the statements by Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, we would like to confirm that the Russian Foreign Ministry does not posses official information concerning the presence of former [Thai] prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Russian territory," he said.

    A Thai court found Thaksin guilty of tax evasion and corruption in October 2008 and sentenced him in absentia to two years in jail. Thaksin said the case was politically motivated and fled to Britain with his wife two months before the verdict.

    The exiled prime minister still has strong support in Thailand. The government accused Thaksin of being behind the so-called "red shirt," who started a series of protests in March after the government offered 9 million low-paid Thai workers payments of $55 per head to stimulate the economy.

    The protesters called the aid "bribery" and accused the government of coming to power illegally. They demanded that incumbent Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve parliament within 15 days and call new elections.

     

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