Thailand drops extradition proceedings against refugee footballer

Bill Shorten wants to meet with the detained man's wife

Al-Araibi was originally wanted by Bahrain over the vandalising of a police station in 2012.

ABC's Juanita Phillips tweeted that the footballer was flying back to Australia on Monday night.

Al-Araibi has refugee status in Australia.

In November previous year, he and his wife flew to Thailand for their honeymoon, believing his Australian visa allowed him to travel safely, but they were detained immediately when they landed at Bangkok's Airport in response to an Interpol "red notice". He has been living in Melbourne, where he plays for a semi-professional soccer team.

He was later sentenced in absentia to 10 years in jail over an act of vandalism he maintains he could not have committed because he was playing in a televised football match. He was detained upon his arrival in Bangkok in November while on a holiday at the request of Bahrain relayed through Interpol - from the global police body's Australian office. Bahrain has a Shiite majority but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

Morrison said he was "pleased" with the outcome and thanked the Thai government, as well as Australian football identity Craig Foster for his advocacy on the case.

More news: Thai election panel disqualifies Princess Ubolratana as PM candidate

Since then, he has been detained in a Bangkok prison pending a court ruling over the extradition request from the Bahraini government - a move the footballer has pleaded against as he fears torture if returned. Thai officials had said a trial could be lengthy, depending on how many witnesses are called by each side.

A journalist from the BBC said negotiations between Thailand and Bahrain led to the agreement to drop the extradition request.

"Fifa is committed to protecting human rights".

Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had no comment on the case.

"The court will now issue an order to release Mr Hakeem from jail today", said Chatchom, the director-general of the office's worldwide affairs department.

She said she requested his release on bail but it was denied because the court deemed him a flight risk.

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