Lawyer Noppadol Pattama, legal advisor to Mr Thaksin’s family, told journalists that he had telephoned the deposed prime minister in Beijing recently and was told that Mr Thaksin as well as his government had never given orders on any killings of drug-related suspects during the campaign.
Citing Mr Thaksin, the legal advisor said the society then jointly declared war on drugs and that Prime Minister Gen Surayud Chulanont, who was then army chief, also fully cooperated in the campaign.
National Human Rights Commissioner Wasan Panich has said that the war on drugs began on Feb 1, 2003, with hastily compiled lists, and that the Interior Ministry had sent Thailand’s 76 provincial governors a notice that there were three ways to reduce the number of drug dealers: arrest, extrajudicial killing or death by other causes.
Mr Wasan charged that 2,598 alleged drug offenders were killed in the first three months of the campaign.
In countering the charges, Mr Noppadol said attempts to make Mr. Thaksin responsible for giving orders to kill drug suspects were groundless as some members of the National Legislative Assembly had charged that the reason Mr Thaksin did not ratify the UN convention on the International Criminal Court (ICC) because he wanted to avoid standing trial.
But, in fact, Mr Thaksin did not ratify it because a clause in the convention went against Article 8 of the Thai constitution which stipulated that charges against the monarchy and royal family members are not allowed, Mr Noppadol said.
Only 104 countries out of more than 200 nations in the world are now signatories to ICC while some developed countries, including the United States, are not signatories to the convention. “It is not strange at all that Thailand did not sign it,” Mr Noppadol added.
Kraisak Choonhavan, former senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, said recently that human rights activists and legal advocates leading the charge against Mr Thaksin are pushing the current Thai government to ratify the ICC which could charge the ousted premier.