In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title FILE – In this Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, file photo, refugee soccer player Bahraini Hakeem al-Araibi leaves the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand. A Thai court on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, has ordered the release of al-Araibi after prosecutors said they were no longer seeking his extradition to Bahrain. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)BANGKOK — A refugee soccer player was freed by Thailand and left on a flight to Australia early Tuesday after prosecutors said they were no longer seeking his extradition to Bahrain in a case that has drawn worldwide attention.Thailand had come under great pressure from Australia’s government, sporting bodies and human rights groups to send Hakeem al-Araibi back to Australia, where he has refugee status and plays semi-professional soccer. Aal-Araibi’s lawyer Nadthasiri Bergman and Thai Immigration Police chief Lt. Gen. Surachate Hakparn both said he left Thailand shortly after midnight, on a scheduled flight taking him directly to his Australian hometown of Melbourne.ADVERTISEMENT His supporters had said he should be freed and was protected under his status as a refugee with Australian residency.He was detained at the request of Bahrain relayed through Interpol upon his arrival in Bangkok in November while on a honeymoon with his wife.Activists praised Monday’s developments.“This is a huge victory for the human rights movement in Bahrain, Thailand and Australia — and even the whole world,” said Sayed Alwadaei, the director of advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy. “Hakeem’s ordeal ended after 70 days when there was a clear public stance and solidarity movement.”Former Australia national team captain Craig Foster, who has been leading the campaign for al-Araibi’s release, praised all those who worked on its behalf.“Many wonderful people stepped forward to help Hakeem,” he wrote Monday in comments on Twitter. “They all deserve to be in front of camera now, not only me. I can’t list them, but will thank each of them in time. My thoughts are with Hakeem’s wife. Her nightmare will shortly be at an end. Our prayers answered.”It was not immediately clear what prompted Bahrain to withdraw its request.The state-run Bahrain News Agency reported Sunday that Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa had a phone conversation with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, but offered no specifics on their discussions.Separately, BNA said Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa met Sunday with Thailand’s foreign minister who was visiting the island. Again, no specifics were provided.Thailand’s foreign ministry said in a statement last week that al-Araibi was detained because Australian authorities had forwarded them an Interpol Red Notice that Bahrain was seeking his arrest. Australian police acknowledged doing so, but there have been questions raised about why the Red Notice appeared to have been issued just before al-Araibi departed on his trip, and whether Bahraini authorities had been tipped off about his travel plans. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had in recent weeks spoken out strongly on behalf of al-Araibi’s freedom.“What we would like to do tonight is to thank and show our appreciation to the Thai government for the decision that they have taken today,” he said Monday. “We greatly respect the process that they have had to work through and we greatly appreciate their listening to the issues that have been raised by our government and many others who have raised this case.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cabagnot piles up milestones Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she looked forward to seeing al-Araibi back in Australia.“It has been a complex process and has taken a great deal of communication and engagement, but we have an outcome, and I think for Hakeem al-Araibi and for the many who have supported him that is the most important thing,” Payne said in Canberra.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsThai prosecutors on Monday submitted a request to a court to withdraw the case to extradite al-Araibi to Bahrain, where he faces a 10-year prison sentence for an arson attack that damaged a police station. He has denied those charges and says the case is politically motivated.Prosecutors made the decision after Thailand’s foreign ministry sent their department a letter Monday indicating that Bahrain had withdrawn its request for al-Araibi, said Chatchom Akapin, the director general of the attorney general office’s international affairs department. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Officials in Bahrain, an island kingdom off the coast of Saudi Arabia that’s home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, said the country “reaffirms its right to pursue all necessary legal actions against” al-Araibi.Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement after his release that the “guilty verdict against Mr. al-Araibi remains in place and Mr. al-Araibi holds the right to appeal this court verdict at Bahrain’s Court of Appeal.”It did not elaborate.Al-Araibi, 25, a former Bahraini national team player, says he fled Bahrain due to political repression and that he fears torture if he returns. He has been living in Melbourne.He has said he was blindfolded and had his legs beaten while he was held in Bahrain previously. He said he believed he was targeted for arrest because of his Shiite faith and because his brother was politically active in Bahrain. Bahrain has a Shiite majority but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra MOST READ LATEST STORIES Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines?
In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ifugao bet Carl Jammes Martin dominates Thai foe in bantamweight bout Mexico’s Marcos Cardenas was supposed to serve as a tough challenge for undefeated featherweight Dave Peñalosa.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)01:30Volunteers spread Christmas cheer to migrant children01:08SEA Games 2019: PH’s Kristina Knott zooms to 200m dash gold in record-setting run02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Cardenas appeared to be good as advertised until Peñalosa decided to pour it on en route to a fourth round stoppage to win the vacant WBO Oriental featherweight title in the main event of ESPN5’s fight card.“All my hard work bore fruit after winning the title,” Peñalosa, who had trouble making weight but showed no effects of it throughout the bout, said in Filipino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“I just wanted to be patient. I’m happy that he showed a good fight and the fans were not disappointed.”Peñalosa, son of former two-time world champion Dodie Boy, was in his usual relentless self from the opening bell before kicking it into high gear in the fourth where he knocked down Cardenas thrice. Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title The third knockdown was courtesy of a crushing body shot that forced the referee to stop the fight at the 2:47 mark of the fourth round.The 28-year-old Peñalosa, who is promoted by his uncle and former two-division world champion Gerry, improved to 15-0, with 11 knockouts.The taller Cardenas, who had his moments early, fell to 19-7-1, 15 KOs.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ View comments