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Decision on Thaksin’s shelved cases to be announced tomorrow

Decision on Thaksin’s shelved cases to be announced tomorrow

BANGKOK: The Attorney-General’s spokesman will hold a press conference tomorrow morning (Nov 22) on the possibility of prosecuting former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in absentia in two cases.

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By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 21 November 2017, 09:10AM


Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has a physical check-up at an unknown location in a post on the Facebook page of his daughter Paethongtan yesterday (Nov 20). The Office of the Attorney-General planned to announce its decision tomorrow (Nov 22) on shelved lawsuits concerning him. Photo: via Bangkok Post

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has a physical check-up at an unknown location in a post on the Facebook page of his daughter Paethongtan yesterday (Nov 20). The Office of the Attorney-General planned to announce its decision tomorrow (Nov 22) on shelved lawsuits concerning him. Photo: via Bangkok Post

The Office of the Attorney-General yesterday (Nov 20) released a statement signed by Wanchart Santikunchorn, the spokesman, saying that his delegation would hold the press conference at the office in Bangkok at 10am tomorrow.

The move followed newly appointed Attorney-General Khemchai Chutiwong’s decision to form a three-member committee to look into the possibility of the prosecution after a new law which allows prosecution against holders of political positions in absentia took effect on Sept 29.

The committee comprises deputy attorney-general Pornsak Srinarong as chairman, Wirul Chanthananant, executive director for special litigation, and senior attorney Winai Damrongmongkolkul as members.

The committee has reportedly considered the possibility since Oct 27.

The Office of the Attorney-General had filed two lawsuits against Thaksin – one involving the Krungthai Bank loan scandal and the other mobile phone concession fees.

The two cases were shelved by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions after Thaksin fled the country in 2008.

After assuming office in October, attorney-general Khemchai said the new criminal procedure code on criminal cases for political position holders allowed the court to try such cases without the presence of the defendants.

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Thaksin was the first defendant in the Krungthai lending case in which the state-owned bank was found to have inappropriately lent about B10 billion to subsidiaries of Krisdamahanakorn Plc in 2003-04 while he was prime minister.

The property developer at the time was classified as a non-performing debtor of the bank, but it was alleged that KTB faced political pressure to extend the loans.

In 2015, the Supreme Court sentenced 16 people to jail terms ranging from 12 to18 years for malfeasance in connection with the case. They included three former KTB executives who got 18 years.

Thaksin also faces a charge of malfeasance for pushing legal amendments to allow telecom concessionaires to deduct excise taxes from their concession fees. Damage to the state enterprises that granted the concessions was estimated at tens of billions of baht.

The cases were shelved as Thaksin left the country in 2008 just before the court sentenced him to two years in prison in a separate conflict-of-interest case. It involved the purchase by his then-wife of state land in a prime location in Bangkok in 2003 while Thaksin was prime minister.

Read original story here.

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