Pattaya Daily News

16 August 2008 :: 06:08:51 am 43022

Thai Court to Try Thaksin, Wife in Absentia in Graft Cases

BANGKOK, Aug 15 -- The Supreme Court‘s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on Friday ruled corruption case against ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife, who jumped bail and fled to Britain, could proceed in absentia.
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The court’s decision came after the couple’s lawyers asked it to suspend the hearings on a graft case concerning Mr. Thaksin, who was ousted in a bloodless coup on Sept 19, 2006, and his wife Pojaman, who purchased land in Bangkok’s prime business area while he was prime minister, as both of them are now living in Britain.

Thailand’s judges ruled that the trial can proceed in absentia because the defendants had surrendered to authorities and the court had granted them bail. The judges said there was no reason to dismiss the case.

Also, the court turned down a request by a team of lawyers who told the court that the defendants wanted them to stop representing them as their lawyers. The court said it was empowered to acquire additional evidence from witnesses even though the couple had no lawyers representing them.

In consequence, the court rejected requests by the Thaksin lawyers for them to withdraw as the couple’s legal representation.

The next hearing on the Ratchadispisek land purchase scandal is scheduled for next Tuesday.

Thailand’s police have issued arrest warrants for the couple, who have flown from Beijing after attending the opening ceremony of the Olympics Games to London. They failed to appear for a mandatory court hearing on Monday. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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