Ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra emotionally pleaded for sympathy and an end to his exile today, days before Thailand's Supreme Court decides whether USD 2.29 billion of his family's fortune should be seized due to alleged corruption.
In the hourlong video to his supporters, available on his sympathizers' Web sites, Thaksin says he doesn't want to die in exile outside Thailand.
"I don't want to return only as bones, so please understand that I will return while I'm still alive," Thaksin said from an undisclosed location. "But I want to go back as a Thai person who can be understood. Stop harassing me."
"Speak to me as I'm a fellow Thai and let me know what I can do," he said. "I think I can still greatly contribute to the country."
Thaksin, 60, was ousted in a 2006 military coup after being accused of corruption and showing disrespect to the country's constitutional monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The Supreme Court will rule Friday on whether Thaksin, a telecommunications mogul, illegally parked his fortune with family members because he was not allowed to hold company shares while prime minister and whether his 2001-2006 governments implemented policies to benefit his businesses.