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Ex-Thai PM Thaksin, Wife Divorce While in Exile

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojaman have divorced while living in exile after 32 years of marriage.

A spokesman for Thaksin said Saturday in Bangkok that the fugitive leader signed the divorce papers on Friday at the Thai consulate in Hong Kong. The spokesman Pongthep Thepkanjana did not specify the reason for the divorce.

Thai media say Thaksin and Pojaman may have divorced for legal reasons relating to corruption cases against them. They have been living in exile since August to avoid jail sentences in their homeland.

British authorities revoked visas for the couple last week, forcing them to search for a new refuge. It is not clear where they are headed next. One country thought to be under consideration is the United Arab Emirates.

Thaksin served as Thai prime minister from 2001 until 2006, when the military ousted him for alleged corruption and abuse of power while he was overseas. He remained in exile until returning to Thailand in February this year.

Thaksin and Pojaman fled to exile in Britain in August after Pojaman was sentenced to three years in jail for tax evasion. A Thai court later sentenced Thaksin in absentia to two years in prison for corruption.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.