Thaksin ‘not fit’ to own Manchester City


London : A leading human rights group has written to the English Premier League (EPL) to challenge Thaksin Shinawatra's right to own Manchester City.

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) claims the former Thailnad prime minister is "a human rights abuser of the worst kind" and should not have passed the League's "fit and proper person" test.

Thaksin, Thailand's prime minister from 2001 to 2006, denies the allegations.

"Under any definition, I don't see how Thaksin can be fit and proper," HRW's Brad Adams told BBC Sport.

"I've written a letter to the Premier League asking what this test means."

Thaksin's lawyer Noppadol Pattama labelled the allegations as completely unfounded.

"The civil and human rights charges against him have never been proven," said Noppadol.

The Premier League confirmed it had received the letter but was yet to respond to it.

Prospective owners must pass a "fit and proper person test" before buying a Premier League football club.

This is basically a list of offences, which the prospective owner must not have been convicted of.

Thaksin passed this before completing his buy-out of City earlier this month.

The former Thai Prime Minister faces charges of conflict of interest and dereliction of duty following a land deal conducted by his wife, Pojamarn, in 2003.

If convicted, the Thai government could request his extradition from Britain.

However, this would almost certainly not be granted, because the request would probably be seen as politically motivated.

Thailand is ruled by a military-installed government, which assumed power by overthrowing Thaksin in a coup in 2006 but the situation could change if a democratically-elected government made the request – and elections are scheduled for December this year in Thailand.

Noppadol said he was sure his client would be acquitted if a democratic government assumed power in Thailand.

"We will be able to prove his innocence after the general election when we are sure our client will get a fair trial," he said.