Thailand Supreme Court dismisses ex-PM's asset seizure appeal

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Thailand [GlobaLex backgrounder] ruled 103-4 Wednesday to deny an appeal by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] contesting the seizure of his assets. Thaksin filed the appeal in March after the Constitutional Court ordered that 46.4 billion baht (USD $1.4 billion) of his fortune be seized [JURIST reports] the month prior. The court had found him guilty of using his power in office to personally benefit himself and other family members. The Supreme Court, sitting in a two-hour plenary session of 142 judges, declined to review the decision because Thaksin had not presented any new evidence [AFP report] in the case. The decision marks the final appeal available [Bangkok Post report] to Thaksin and allows the government to carry out the order. In filing the appeal, Thaksin's lawyers claimed that the Constitutional Court had wrongfully ordered the seizure of assets 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.

Thaksin has been plagued by legal problems since the 2006 coup [JURIST report] that removed him from power. Last month, the criminal division of Supreme Court issued a new arrest warrant [JURIST report]against him at the request of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) [official website], which charges that Thaksin did not report all of his assets to the commission. Also last month, Thai police recommended terrorism charges [DPA report] against Thaksin and 24 others for their alleged involvement in the recent political violence [JURIST news archive] in Bangkok. Thaksin is considered the figurehead of the pro-democracy protesters known as the red shirts [BBC backgrounder] who protested against Thailand's current government and called for elections. The protests ended in May after protesters surrendered to police [JURIST report].

 

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