Thailand formally files corruption charges against ex-PM

[JURIST] Thai prosecutors formally filed corruption charges against former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and his wife Pojamarn at the Supreme Court of Justice Thursday, charging the exiled Thaksin with abuse of power for personal gain, conflict of interest violations, and also dereliction of duty for personal gain. The charges stem from a 2003 land purchase by Pojamarn from the government-directed Financial Institutions Development Fund [official website], which is currently valued at approximately $23.7 million. The court is expected to announce whether it will hear the charges on July 10.

Attorney General Phatchara Yutithamdamrong has recommended the seizure of the land [JURIST report]. The Assets Examination Committee (AEC) has also ordered the seizure of additional Thaksin family assets, valued at $245.7 million, saying that funds had been shifted from accounts frozen [JURIST report] last week shortly before that order was issued. The AEC recommended that charges be brought [JURIST report] against Pojamarn and other members of Thaksin's family in February and other investigations are ongoing. Investigators have been having difficulty linking Thaksin to corruption [JURIST report], which was the stated reason for last year's bloodless coup [JURIST report]. Thaksin has complained that the charges against him amount to a persecution, and has called the AEC findings "libelous, unfair, and unethical." AP has more. The Bangkok Post has local coverage.

 

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