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  Thaksin Shinawatra - Legal News



Thailand's Supreme Court said it will issue an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after she failed to show Friday for a contentious trial verdict in which she could face a 10-year prison term for alleged negligence in overseeing a money-losing rice subsidy program.

A judge read out a statement saying that Yingluck's lawyers had informed the court she could not attend because of an earache. But the judge said the court did not believe the excuse because no official medical verification was provided, and the court would issue a warrant for her arrest as a result.

Yingluck's whereabouts were not immediately known, fueling speculation that she might have fled the country. There was no evidence, however, that she had left Thailand.

A verdict had been expected to be delivered within hours in the case, which the court postponed until Sept. 27. Yingluck has pleaded innocent, and decries the charges against her as politically motivated. If convicted, she has the right to appeal.

The trial is the latest chapter in a decade-long struggle by the nation's elite minority to crush the powerful political machine founded by Yingluck's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in a 2006 coup. Thaksin, who has lived in Dubai since fleeing a corruption conviction he says was politically motivated, has studiously avoided commenting on his sister's case, apparently to avoid imperiling it.

Thaksin is a highly polarizing figure here, and his overthrow triggered years of upheaval and division that has pitted a poor, rural majority in the north that supports the Shinawatras against royalists, the military and their urban backers.



A Thai court has sentenced 15 members of the "Red Shirt" political movement to four years in prison for inciting rioting that disrupted an important regional conference in 2009, a lawyer said.

The sentencing by a court in Pattaya on Thursday is the latest blow against supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a military coup in 2006 after being accused of corruption and disrespect for the king.

Those sentenced included two of the group's more senior leaders, Worachai Hema, a former pro-Thaksin lawmaker, and Arisman Pongruangrong, a popular former pop singer-turned-firebrand, their lawyer Karom Polpornklang said Friday. Two of the 15 were absent for the sentencing, and the others were held after an initial denial of bail.


A Dubai lawyer has appeared in court to deny charges that he stole tens of millions of dollars from former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The lawyer, Khaled al-Muhairy, 45, a partner at a Dubai firm, is charged with breach of trust, attempted fraud and forgery charges. He pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors told the court Thursday that al-Muhairy took money from an escrow account his firm had been hired to manage in 2009.

The attorney is accused of taking $129 million, $97 million of that from Thaksin's sale of the Manchester City football club. He also stole millions to buy a villa and tried to steal millions more for a plane.

Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 coup and has often used Dubai as a base while in exile.



A mob of anti-government protesters pushed their way into the compound housing the offices of Thailand's prime minister on Tuesday, one of a series of actions against state agencies in the capital.

The demonstrators, from the right-wing People's Alliance for Democracy, stopped once they entered the compound at Government House at about 2:30 p.m. and did not attempt to enter the official offices there, footage on Thai TV channel 9 showed.

Earlier, mobs of alliance protesters took over a state-controlled television station and besieged several ministries in a self-described "final showdown" to try to bring down the elected government of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej.

It was the first time in recent years that a large crowd managed to get onto the Government House grounds. The crowd of several thousand appeared peaceful.

Samak was expected to speak about the situation late Tuesday afternoon.

The protests were the latest effort by the alliance to force Samak's government from office. The group contends Samak is a proxy for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and now has gone into self-imposed exile in England.



Deposed Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his family have fled to the United Kingdom, the former leader said Monday after he and his wife skipped a hearing on corruption charges in a Thai court.

A handwritten statement from Thaksin issued Monday said he fled because he could not expect justice in Thai courts. It came amid newspaper reports that he would seek asylum in Britain.

"My wife and I have traveled to reside in England," Thaksin said in the statement. "If I still have luck, I would come back and die on Thai soil like every other Thai person.

Thaksin's statement, which did not mention asking for asylum, was read Monday afternoon on state-run television.

"What happened to my family and me is like fruit from a poisonous tree — the fruit will also be poisoned," the statement said. "There is a continuation of dictatorship in managing Thai politics ... which is followed by interference in the justice system."

Thaksin and his wife Pojaman failed to appear Monday morning before the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions in a case involving an allegedly unlawful purchase of real estate.

The couple left Thailand last week after the court gave them permission to attend the Olympic Games in Beijing but ordered them to report Monday. News reports in Bangkok said Thaksin and Pojaman flew from China to England, where the former leader owns several properties and the Manchester City football club.

Thaksin lived in exile in Britain after he was ousted in a 2006 military coup. He returned to Thailand earlier this year to face corruption charges against him after his political allies won new elections and formed a coalition government.


Thousands protest against Thai police

  International  -   POSTED: 2008/07/06 15:47

Thousands of people protested in front of Thailand's national police headquarters Monday to demand action on long-pending legal cases against ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The demonstrators, led by the People's Alliance for Democracy, accused police of protecting Thaksin and his loyalists against prosecution by stalling their investigations.

Thaksin was toppled in a bloodless military coup in 2006 following months of street protests led by the alliance. Critics accused the former leader of corruption and abuse of power.

Thaksin returned from exile earlier this year, vowing to clear his name in court.

More than 3,000 protesters gathered in front of the police headquarters in downtown Bangkok, near three of the country's most expensive shopping malls.

"I come to police headquarters to ask you why you have been sitting on the cases against Thaksin and his followers. These cases are moving nowhere," Sondhi Limthongkul, an alliance leader, shouted through a loudspeaker. "We are here to ask you to do your duty."


Thaksin Pleads Not Guilty in Thai Court

  International  -   POSTED: 2008/03/12 08:45

Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra pleaded not guilty Wednesday before the Supreme Court in one of two criminal corruption cases against him.

More than 200 policemen with bomb detectors and five sniffer dogs were deployed around the court where some 400 of Thaksin's supporters waited, many holding portraits of the former leader over their heads.

"The defendant pleaded not guilty of the charges," chief judge Thongloh Chom-ngam told the court, which set the next hearing for April 29. It also excused Thaksin from having to appear at every hearing, as requested by his lawyer.

"We can prove our innocence," said Thaksin, who was ousted in a September 2006 military coup for alleged corruption and abuse of power.

When he emerged after the hearing, some of his supporters burst into tears while others cheered him, shouting "Thaksin, fight, fight."

"Never mind, everything will be OK," Thaksin told one female supporter who cried as she hugged him.

Thaksin's return has stirred the Thai political scene because of suspicions that he will seek a return to power and try to settle the score against those who deposed him.

He has insisted, though, that he has no interest in returning to politics and has said he plans to devote himself to charity work, sports and his family.


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