Amid all the alarming reports of arrest warrants being issued in Thailand it's worth pointing out that Thaksin has not actually been charged with any crime yet.
The warrants relate to an alleged abuse of power by Thaksin and his wife, Pojaman, regarding a £12.1m (772 million baht) land deal. According to The Guardian, Thailand’s Supreme Court issued them 'on the grounds that they had sought to evade corruption charges'.
The next court hearing is set for Sept 25, with the BBC reporting that 'Thailand's attorney-general and the prosecution have indicated that they could seek Mr Thaksin's extradition from the UK if he does not return'.
Whether their intent is to keep Thaksin out of the country during the elections that are planned for December is unclear, but a successful extradition appears to be highly unlikely at this stage.
Any request would fall under Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003, which would require prima facie evidence to be presented. According to Wikipedia that means their case has to be 'self-evident from the facts'.
The new Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, would have to decide whether to pass the case to a judge, who would have to ensure it met the requirements of the 2003 Act before passing it back to her for the final decision.
According to the Guardian's south-east Asia correspondent, Ian MacKinnon, British law has no equivalent to the one Thaksin is being charged under, meaning the Thai authorities 'would have 'virtually no hope of success'. The Telegraph claimed that any extradition process would be 'fraught with potential embarrassment for the Thai junta', but revealed that if the Home Secretary passed the request to the courts Thaksin would be arrested before the case is heard.
The Thai authorities are certainly turning the screw on the former PM, yesterday announcing that it is also launching an investigation into the extra-judicial killings of suspected drug dealers in 2003.
But more startling Thaksin news comes from a new book called
Thaksin, Where Are You?. It reveals our new owner has been going on shopping trips with 20-year-old Thai pop star Lydia (pictured below).
It's claimed the two were introduced by Thaksin's son Panthongthae. According to this site Thaksin’s lawyer, Noppadol Pattama, has admitted that Lydia and Thaksin are ‘very close’ but claimed there was 'no hanky-panky' involved.
"She is like another daughter to him," Panthongthae told the Bangkok Post.
Which reminds me of a line from the late Bernard Manning during a gig he gave for Guy Ritchie and Madonna. 'Aren't you lovely," he told the singer. 'If you were my daughter I'd still be bathing you'.
Don't have a cow, man
Another blow to Thaksin was dealt by the Thai government's announcement that it is scrapping the One Million Cows project. The populist scheme was set up by Thaksin in 2005 with the aim of lending one million cows to farming families in three years, but to date only 21,684 calves had been distributed.
And in a final bit of animal-related Thai news, I found this bizarre story last week revealing that Thai police officers who break the rules are being made to wear a pink armband adorned with the Japanese cartoon character Hello Kitty.