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9: 06 AM GMT

  • Associated Press

A Thai court ordered the launch of refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi on Monday after prosecutors said they were no longer looking for his extradition into Bahrain.

Court spokesman Suriyan Hongvilai stated Al-Araibi, who resides and plays football in Australia, was being processed for launch.

On Monday, prosecutors submitted to court a petition to take the case to extradite Al-Araibi into Bahrain, in which he faces 10-year prison sentence for an arson attack that damaged a police channel.

He has denied the charge and said the case, which has attracted worldwide interest, is sexually stimulated.

Prosecutors decided after Thailand’s foreign ministry sent a letter on Monday morning suggesting that Bahrain had pulled its petition for Al-Araibi, Chatchom Akapin, director general of the attorney general office’s international affairs department, said.

employees in Bahrain did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported on Sunday the Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa had a telephone call with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, but provided no details of the discussions.

Separately, BNA said Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa had fulfilled Thailand’s foreign ministry, who had been visiting the island, on Sunday. Again, no details of these talks have been given.

Al-Araibi, 25, a former Bahrain national team player, has stated he fled his home country because of political repression. He’s been living in Melbourne, in which he performs for a team.

His fans have said he must be freed and is guarded under his standing as a refugee with Australian profession.

He was arrested upon his arrival in Bangkok in November, while on a vacation, at the petition of Bahrain relayed through Interpol.

Al-Araibi has said that he had been blindfolded and had his own legs defeated when he was held in Bahrain previously. He said that he believed that he was targeted for arrest because of his Shia beliefs and because his brother was politically active in Bahrain

Bahrain has a social bulk but is dominated by a Sunni monarchy.

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