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Pattaya Daily News

13 January 2010 :: 10:01:12 am 6453

Verdict on Thaksin Asset Seizure Imminent

The Thai Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on Tuesday announced the completion of its hearing on the Bt76 billion (US$2.2 billion) seized assets of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra and set February 26 at 1pm as its date to issue a verdict on the case.
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Bangkok, the 12th of January 2010 [TNA]: The court cancelled additional examination of witnesses scheduled for January 14, saying that evidence of testimony and documentation was now compelete. In the final inquiry session, the four witnesses who testified were former information and communication technology minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) academic Somkiat Tangkitwanich who studied the conversion of the telecommunications concession contracts negotiated by the Thaksin Shinawatra administration, and representatives of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

The court instructed the defence and the prosecution to file their written closing statements within 30 days. The court has set February 26 as the day for the ruling. The court will rule whether to seize the assets gained from the sale of telecom giant Shin Corp at Bt76.6 billion plus interest on charges that the ex-premier had acquired his massive wealth through illegal practices.

The now-disbanded Assets Examination Committee (AEC) earlier ruled that Mr Thaksin had become unusually rich after selling Shin Corp to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings in January 2006 without paying taxes. The duo had informed the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) that their assets were transferred to their children, close relatives and friends before Mr Thaksin became a politician.

The ousted premier was elected prime minister for two consecutive terms from 2001 and was removed from power in a 2006 coup d’etat. The anti-graft agency froze his fortune after the telecommunications magnate-turned-prime minister was toppled in 2006. Ousted in a bloodless coup three years ago, Mr Thaksin was sentenced to a two-year prison term for abusing his power when he was prime minister to help his ex-wife purchase prime land in Bangkok’s Ratchadapisek Road. However, he argued the case was politically motivated and that he could not receive a fair trial in Thailand. He now lives mainly in the United Arab Emirates. His Thai passport was cancelled but he obtained passports given by several foreign countries. (TNA)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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