Noppadon Pattama, who is Thaksin’s legal adviser, said if the department decides to assess Thaksin as planned, the ex-premier is likely to appoint lawyers to fight the move on his behalf.
“If there is a tax assessment over this, it will be challenged in court. I think a lawyer or legal adviser will be appointed to proceed. But at this stage, it’s still early to say who exactly will be sued,” he told the media yesterday (Mar 22).
He was responding to the government’s fresh attempt to collect money from Thaksin over a part of the 2006 sale of Shin Corp shares to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings more than a decade ago.
In defence of Thaksin, Mr Noppadon said the deposed prime minister does not have an intent to cheat, but the sale of Shin Corp shares via the stock market is exempted from tax.
He pointed to the asset seizure ruling of the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions in which Thaksin’s assets worth B46bn were seized.
In its ruling, the court found Thaksin’s children, Panthongtae and Pinthongta, acted as proxies on behalf of their father in the share sale in January 2006.
According to Mr Noppadon, as a result, the pair did not own the shares and earned nothing from the transaction, so they were not liable to pay tax. Moreover, Thaksin’s assets seized by the state had covered money from the sale and dividends.
He questioned the procedures in what the government described as “miracle of law”, to pursue the case.
“As a legal specialist, it is the first time I have heard of [the term] ‘miracle of law’,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam declined to respond to Mr Noppadon’s arguments, saying the controversy would get even more confusing to the public.
“It’s not right to challenge each other through the media,” he said. “It’s not fair to both sides and the people will only get confused.”
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