Thailand's ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra issued a statement from London to announce his decision to seek political asylum in Britain, after he and his wife Pojaman failed to return to Bangkok as scheduled to testify in the court for corruption charges on Monday.
The statement, hand-written and signed by the ex-premier, was read on Thai TV stations around Monday noon.
Thaksin said he had to seek asylum in England because he and his family did not receive justice in Thai courts, which had been interfered by his political opponents.
Thaksin said he and his family had been unfairly treated ever since the Sept.
19, 2006 military coup ousted his administration when he was attending the United Nations general assembly in New Youk.
He also said there were attempts to assassinate him.
Thaksin and his wife Pojaman had been reportedly scheduled to return to Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight on Sunday from Beijing, where the couple attended the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony on Aug.
However, they were found to have failed boarding the scheduled Thai Airways International Flight 615, which arrived on time at Bangkok at 9:45 p.
(1445 GMT) on Sunday, sending rumours running wild in Thailand that the ex-premier has fled to Britain, where he owns an luxurious apartment in London and the Manchester City football club, to seek asylum.
His children had reportedly flown ahead to Britain to unite with them.