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Pattaya Daily News

11 August 2008 :: 04:08:06 am 28421

Thaksin Flies to London rather than face Corruption Charges

Thaksin Shinawatra has today flown to London on the eve of facing multiple corruption charges in Bangkok. The billionaire was due to return to Bangkok after watching the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing, but MP Pracha Pasobdee told reporters at the airport he had spoken to a Thaksin aide who said the former prime minister would be making a statement 'via the foreign media' at 2am tomorrow from London.
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That is the same time that Thaksin, who owns Premier League Manchester City, and his wife are meant to report to courts under bail conditions set in various corruption cases against them.

If true, his decision not to return to fight a series of cases would signal a significant easing of the political tension that has dogged the government and Thai markets for the last three years.

On Thursday, the stock market rose 4 per cent as rumours circulated that Thaksin and his wife, Potjaman, who is on bail after being sentenced to three years in jail for tax fraud, might not return from their trip to China.

Before the weekend, spokesmen for the couple insisted they would return to Bangkok on the Thai Airways flight today, in time for both to report to the courts on Monday as required by their bail conditions.

But two airline industry officials said they did not get on the plane.

‘There is no Shinawatra family member on the flight,’ the industry source said. Thaksin’s lawyer and his principal spokesman in Thailand had their mobile phones switched off today.

‘If Thaksin really doesn’t come back, the conflict in our country will lessen, which implies that our prolonged political trouble will come to an end soon,’ Kavee Chukitkasem, head of research at Bangkok brokerage Kasikorn Securities, said.
‘The markets should definitely rise tomorrow,’ he said.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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