Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra has returned to England after missing a court appearance in Thailand.
The former Thai prime minister, and his wife Pojaman, who are on bail over corruption charges, had been expected in court over a separate property case.
However, they opted to fly to England rather than return to Thailand after a court allowed them to travel to Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Shinawatra said in a statement: "My wife and I will stay in England where democracy is more important.
"What happened to me and my family and my close relations resulted from efforts to get rid of me from politics."
Shinawatra was ousted from power in Thailand by a military coup in 2006.