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Thai Attorney General Phatchara Yutithamdamrong said Monday that he would seek a criminal trial against former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife regarding a 2003 land purchase by Pojamarn Shinawatra from the government-directed Financial Institutions Development Fund. Yutithamdamrong also recommended the seizure of the land, valued at approximately $23.7 million USD. The announcement came as the Assets Examination Committee (AEC) ordered the additional seizure of $245.7 million USD of Thaksin's family assets, saying that the funds had been shifted from accounts seized last week shortly before the seizure was ordered. The previous seizure amounted to approximately $1.6 billion USD, held by Thaksin and members of his family. Thaksin made his fortune after founding what is now the Shin Corporation in 1983, and is estimated to be worth in excess of $2 billion.

The AEC recommended that charges be brought against Pojamarn and other members of Thaksin's family in February for tax evasion in the sale of Shin Corporation stock. Investigators have been having difficulty linking Thaksin to corruption, which was the stated reason for last year's bloodless coup. Thaksin has complained that the charges against him amount to a persecution, and has called the AEC findings "libelous, unfair, and unethical."


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