A Thai court has ordered the release of a refugee football player after prosecutors said they were no longer seeking his extradition to Bahrain in a case that has drawn worldwide attention.
Hakeem al-Araibi, who lives and plays professional football in Australia, was being processed for release, a court spokesman said.
Prosecutors submitted to court a request to withdraw the case to extradite the footballer 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made the decision after Thailand’s foreign ministry sent their department a letter that indicated Bahrain had withdrawn its request for Mr al-Araibi.
The state-run Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported on Sunday that Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa had a phone call 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, Thailand’s foreign minister, who was visiting the island, on Sunday.
His supporters have said he should be freed and is protected under his status as a refugee with Australian residency.
He was detained upon his arrival in Bangkok in November while on a holiday at the request of Bahrain relayed through Interpol.