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"A penny for your thoughts"

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thaksin goes on trial for corruption

Recap:Twice-elected Thaksin was overthrown in a military coup in September 2006 and although he lives in exile to escape a jail term on corruption charges, Thailand remains deeply divided between his supporters and detractors.The telecoms tycoon alienated elements of the old elite in the palace, military and bureaucracy -- the PAD's core support base -- who saw his popularity as a drain on their power. Thaksin was convicted in absentia on October 21 to two years in jail for breaching graft laws by helping his wife buy state-owned land when he was prime minister. A number of other cases against Thaksin instigated by the junta which overthrew him are currently before the courts, and Thaksin fled into exile with his now ex-wife in August, saying he would not get a fair trial.

Thailand 's new Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Friday 19 Dec 2008 protesters who occupied government offices and blockaded Bangkok's airports should be held legally accountable for their actions. Democrat Party member Somkiat was among a group of PAD leaders who led thousands of protesters to occupy the compound in late August, demanding allies of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra to leave government. Abhisit told him not to use immunity. The Democrats were forced to woo former allies of Thaksin in order to gain enough votes to form a coalition, but Abhisit said he is to find balance within the administration so that the country can move forward and his government can tackle the economic malaise.

Prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Thursday 18 Dec 2008 that ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra should return to the kingdom and fight corruption charges, and said Thais would "be kind" to him. Thaksin has previously said that only a royal pardon or "the power of the people" can bring him home, but in media interviews has expressed a desire to return to politics in his homeland.

Thailand 's new Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, vowed Thursday 18 Dec 2008 to visit the poor northeast, a stronghold of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, where he has struggled to win support. British-born Abhisit, an urbane Oxford graduate whose name means "privileged", lost elections a year ago after failing to make any dent in Thaksin's support base in the populous northeastern region known as Isan.

The Thai government said Monday 15 Dec 2008 it had revoked the diplomatic passport of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, shortly after the country's opposition leader was elected prime minister. He was ousted in a September 2006 coup following months of protests by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) movement, which has accused subsequent governments of acting as his proxy.

Thai opposition leader, Oxford-educated Democrat Party. Abhisit Vejjajiva Monday 15 Dec 2008 was on Monday elected as the kingdom's third prime minister in four months, triggering violent protests outside parliament from supporters of the old government.
At least 100 angry Thaksin supporters in red shirts hit a lawmaker, threw bottles at the cars of MPs and tried to blockade parliament. Thaksin's allies accuse the powerful army of supporting the Democrats. Abhisit, 44, had won votes from 235lawmakers to 198 votes for ex-police chief Pracha Promnog, who had been proposed by the former People Power Party and its allies. Abhisit has becomes Thailand 's 27th prime minister and the first from the Democrat Party in eight years.

The airport closures that culminated in an eight-day blockade only ended after a court on December 2 dissolved the ruling People Power Party over electoral fraud charges and forced then-premier Somchai Wongsawat from office, creating the opening for the Democrat Party.

06 December 2008 - Pojaman, the former wife of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra travelling under her maiden name "Damapong," returned to Bangkok with her son and daughter from Hong Kong Friday after fleeing the kingdom in August following her three-year jail sentence for tax evasion. Pojaman, her brother and secretary were convicted in July of tax evasion and released on bail pending appeal. A new party, Pheu Thai, set up to regroup MPs from the PPP, which is filled with Thaksin's allies, is due to elect a party leader on Sunday. But the interim government has cancelled a parliamentary session set for Monday to choose a new prime minister, as uncertainty continues to cloud Thailand's political future.

02 December 2008- A Thai court stripped Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat of his post and outlawed the ruling party on Tuesday because an executive was convicted of vote buying, prompting jubilant anti-government protesters to lift a blockade of Bangkok's main airport. The ruling came after a blast early Tuesday killed one protester and injured 22 others at the domestic Don Mueang airport.

25 Nov 2008-Thailand's ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra told Arabian Business magazine that he plans a return to politics in his homeland and said he can fix the turmoil wrecking the country, as protests by his opponents drag on. Thaksin in the interview also criticized the British government, which revoked his visa. Multi-millionaire Thaksin , who was twice elected, has spent most of his time since the coup in exile abroad and is currently believed to be in Dubai. He was sentenced in absentia last month to two years on corruption charges. Despite his previous vows to stay out of politics, analysts have said Thaksin is the guiding hand behind the ruling People Power Party, and in the last few months he has become increasingly vocal.

17 November 2008=Since Britain cancelled Thaksin's visa on November 7, he has travelled to several cities around the world including Beijing and Hong Kong. Thaksin Shinawatra is now staying in Dubai as he seeks a new home. Thaksin has links to the United Arab Emirates, having sold Premier League Club Manchester City to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan's Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) in September.

15 November 2008-Telecoms billionaire Thaksin announced his divorce with his wife Pojaman at a dinner of MPs from Thailand's ruling People Power Party in Hong Kong on Friday night, the Bangkok Post reported. The separation was finalised from his wife Pojaman at the Thai consulate in Hong Kong on Friday. The cause of the divorce was not immediately clear. A Thai military intelligence source confirmed that the couple had divorced for legal reasons, including so that Pojaman can return to Thailand to fight her tax evasion conviction case and to re-apply for a British visa.

BANGKOK:Britain has revoked the visas of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Saturday, 08 November 2008 said Thailand's foreign ministry. Deputy foreign ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdee said they have received confirmation from the British authorities that they have revoked former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife's visas without any given explanation. The ministry confirmed the entry ban after an airline official said the British Embassy in Bangkok had emailed all airlines informing them not to allow the couple to board flights to Britain. In the email to airlines, seen by AFP, Bangkok-based immigration liaison manager Andy Gray, from the UK Border Agency wrote: "The United Kingdom Border Agency has revoked the UK visas held by the following Thai nationals: Thaksin Shinawatra... Potjaman Shinawatra," listing the pair's passport numbers. It was reported he was travelling from China to the Philippines. The Nation newspaper quoted an unnamed source from the PPP saying Thaksin was building a 300-million-baht (US$8.5-million) mansion in China, where he and his wife might take up residence if Britain is indeed off the cards. The English-language paper also mentioned the Bahamas, and said the pair had been offered honorary citizenship there.

Beijing confirmed on Tuesday 11 November 2008 that ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had been in China on vacation.

Thaksin is now believed to be searching for asylum in another country to avoid facing justice back home. Thai authorities vowed this week to press for his extradition no matter where he ends up.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo's spokesman said Monday 10 November 2008 that Thaksin would be turned away if he applied for asylum there amid reports in Thai media that the island nation was next on his itinerary.

The Bahamas, Bermuda and several countries in Africa that are not believed to have extradition agreements with Thailand have reportedly offered to take in Thaksin and his wife Pojaman.

Thaksin's aides in Thailand told AFP he may head for the United Arab Emirates.

Thaksin has until the end of next week to appeal against his conviction but prosecutors are working on extradition documents, even if Thaksin decides to live in a country with which Thailand has no extradition treaty, authorities could ask for him to be handed over on a reciprocal basis.

His present exact whereabouts remain unknown Tuesday 11 November 2008.

Source CNA

Video-Thaksin's emotional address

November 02, 2008-Over 60,000 people clad in red thronged the Rajamangala Stadium here today to listen to the 59-year-old making a 10-minute live phone speech from Hong Kong.It is Thaksin first address to supporters since leaving the kingdom. Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra make the following points in his speech:
1)Only the royal family or the people's power could bring him back to his homeland.
2)He always wanted to contribute to his country and the Thai people but he cannot do that now because h was sentenced to two years' imprisonment.
3) Thaksin said the court sentence meant he could not return for at least 10 years.
4) The generals have abused the legal process to get rid of him. he was overwhelmingly elected prime minister twice yet he was overthrown in a military coup, and survived an attempted assassination.
5) His family and him have been attacked, their assets have been forfeited and he has been sentenced to jail, but his problems cannot compare to those facing his country.

Video_01 November 2008-90,000 Thais gather to hear former PM Thaksin's address

Video-Cheering as Thaksin found guilty

21 Oct 2008 Ousted Thai PM Thaksin sentenced to two years in jail
A Thai court on Tuesday found ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra guilty of conflict of interest and sentenced him in absentia to two years in jail, in the first ruling against the exiled multi-millionaire. The Supreme Court judgement related to a cut-price land deal he helped his wife Pojaman obtain in 2003, but Thaksin, 59, was cleared of more serious charges of abuse of power. Pojaman was cleared of all charges. "The defendant was a leader of government and should have acted with a good example to others, so the court decided not to suspend the sentence and decided to jail him for two years," the court was told. Neither the land nor the money connected to the deal would be seized, the court judges said, but they issued a fresh arrest warrant for Thaksin and prosecutors said they will seek his extradition from Britain. (The extradition process began the next day on Wednesday as confirmed by Sirisak Tiyapan, international affairs director at the attorney general's office.) Thaksin has 30 days to appeal the verdict, but would have to do it in person at the Supreme Court. An attempt to extradite Thaksin during his first period in exile after the coup got bogged down in complexities, as the charges he faced in Thailand were not covered by the extradition treaty with Britain. VIA

21 Oct 2008 Thai court to issue first verdict on ousted PM Thaksin

16 Sep 2008 Thailand 's Supreme Court on Tuesday issued another arrest warrant for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra for his approval of a controversial loan to military-ruled Myanmar. Investigators say Thaksin wrongly ordered the Exim Bank to increase a three-billion-baht (US$89.6-million) loan to four billion baht, so that Myanmar's ruling government could buy more services from ShinSat. ShinSat is part of the Shin Corp telecom firm, which Thaksin founded. His family sold the company to Singapore's state-linked Temasek Holdings in January 2006 in a tax-free deal that prompted street protests leading to the military coup against him.

17 Sep 2008 Thailand 's Supreme Court Wednesday delayed its verdict against Thaksin and his wife Pojaman until October 21, saying the couple needed to be present in the courtroom for the reading.

Source Channelnewsasia

Mon, Sep 01, 2008 THAILAND'S Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a fourth case against Thaksin Shinawatra, accusing the ousted and exiled Thai premier of amending tax policy to enrich his business empire. Thaksin fled to Britain with his family last month claiming he would not get a fair trial on the corruption charges mounting against him, but prosecutors have forged ahead with the cases. Setting the first hearing for October 15, the case accepted on Monday is related to Advanced Info Service (AIS), one of Thailand's biggest mobile phone operators and a subsidiary of Shin Corp, the telecoms giant founded by Thaksin. Thaksin is accused of changing a telecoms concession fee into an excise tax in 2003, saving AIS money in a concessions deal. The January 2006 tax-free sale to Singapore's state-owned investment unit Temasek for almost 1.9 billion dollars (S$2.7 billion) and money linked to the sale total to about 76 billion baht (S$3.13 billion) - has been frozen by the anti-graft body. The Supreme Court is due on September 17 to decide whether Thaksin and his wife Pojaman are guilty of collaborating to enable Pojaman to purchase a prime piece of real estate at a cut price.Pojaman was on July 31 convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to three years in jail. She appealed, but analysts have said the court decision against her stunned Thaksin and helped spark the couple's flight into exile.Both Thaksin and Pojaman has arrest warrants against them for skipping a required court appearance. VIA

July 8, 2008
A corruption trial against Thailand's former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, begins hearing evidence in Bangkok on Tuesday,July 8, 2008, almost two years after he was toppled from power in a military coup.Mr Thaksin and his wife Pojaman, loved by the poor and loathed by the Bangkok elite, were not on hand at the Supreme Court for the opening of a legal saga that could put them behind bars for 13 years.

Mr Thaksin is accused of using his influence as prime minister , illegally arranged for his wife Pojaman Shinawatra to buy a prime chunk of Bangkok real estate for just one-third its appraised value.

Thai law prohibits politicians and their families from engaging in government related business deals.

Pojaman Shinawatra, is also facing charges related to the 2003 land deal.

Mr Thaksin was ousted from office in a military coup in September 2006.

He is currently banned from politics but critics of the current government say he is effectively running the show from behind the scenes.

Hearings will last two months. Because it is the Supreme Court, however, Mr Thaksin and his wife would have no avenue of appeal - and they have already suffered several setbacks.

Thailand's judges meanwhile ruled on two other cases on Tuesday that touched on his close supporters - including current Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej. At the Constitutional Court, judges ruled that Mr Samak's government had wrongly signed an agreement to back efforts by neighbouring Cambodia to win UN recognition for a 900-year-old temple on the border.

Wiszanu Boonmarat of Burapha University said the verdict would add to the pressure on the government for either new elections or top-level resignations.

Later on Tuesday, the Supreme Court found the former speaker of parliament, Yongyut Tiyapairat, guilty of vote fraud, stripping him of his office and banning him from politics for five years.

The ruling paves the way for a criminal investigation that could eventually implicate the entire ruling party and force new elections.

Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej survived a vote of no confidence last month, but remains the target of protests that have taken to the streets every day for seven weeks.He is accused of acting as a puppet for Mr Thaksin from the so-called People's Alliance for Democracy wanting Samak to resign.
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8/07/08 Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra 's wife convicted
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2/28/08Thaksin returns to face charges today

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1 Comment:

rebecca said...

Political corruption runs like a river all over the world. It's so disheartening :(

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