[JURIST] Lawyers for former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] claimed Friday that the Constitutional Court of Thailand [official website, in Thai] had wrongfully [Bangkok Post report] ordered the seizure of assets belonging to Thaksin and asked for a reconsideration of his case. Noppadon Pattama, Thaksin's legal advisor, said that new evidence had come to light [AFP report] showing that Thaksin did not abuse his power while in office to benefit himself. Lawyers for Thaksin's children are expected to file separate appeals against the ruling. A five-judge Supreme Court panel will decide [The Nation report] whether to accept the appeal.
The Thai Constitutional Court ruled [JURIST report] last month that Thaksin was guilty of using his power in office to personally benefit himself and other family members. The Court ordered that $1.4 billion of his estimated $2.2 billion fortune be seized. The court found [Bangkok Post report] that Thaksin crafted government telecommunications policy to benefit his family by providing them with shares in Shin Corporation [corporate website]. The shares were then sold just three days after the the government raised the maximum foreign ownership of telecommunication companies from 20 percent to 49 percent. Thaksin has claimed [statement] that all of his wealth was obtained legitimately. Thaksin was also convicted in absentia on corruption charges related to a land purchase and sentenced [JURIST report] to two years in prison. Thai officials have denied [JURIST report] claims that the country's judiciary is biased against the former prime minister.