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Thai Officials Say Former PM Will be Arrested if He Returns Home

Officials in Thailand say ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will be arrested on corruption and fraud charges if he returns to the country.

A senior official at Thailand's Office of the Attorney General told reporters Thursday, that both Mr. Thaksin and his wife would be taken into custody if they return because warrants have already been issued for their arrest.

The military-appointed government that succeeded Mr. Thaksin has launched several investigations into his alleged corruption.

The official said the results of Sunday's elections and victory of the pro-Thaksin People's Power Party would have no bearing on legal cases against the former prime minister.

Speaking in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Mr. Thaksin said he would like to return to Thailand as early as February.

Mr. Thaksin said that if he does return, he plans to stay out of politics and prove himself innocent of corruption charges. The former prime minister has been living in exile since he was ousted from power last year by a military coup.

But on Sunday, Mr. Thaksin received a fresh show of support when a party loyal to him won the most parliamentary seats in the first elections held since the military takeover.

Election officials say the People's Power Party captured 233 of the 480 seats in the lower house of parliament. The PPP is trying to cobble together a coalition government.

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