Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thailand - Thaksin malfeasance charge

Court accepts malfeasance charges against Thaksin

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions Monday agreed to deliberate a lawsuit filed against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra for alleged abuse of power on the telecom excise tax policy change for his own benefit.

The first hearing is scheduled to be held on October 15.

"The judges are considering the case and view it as within their jurisdiction for deliberation," according to one of the judges."So, the court agrees to accept it and schedule the first hearing at 10 am on October 15."

Public prosecutor Seksan Bansomboon said it must be monitored to see if Mr Thaksin will assign his lawyer to fight the case on October 15.

Should the ex-premier fail to do that, he said, it is the court's discretion to take the next step in the case.

The suit filed by the Assets Examination Committee (AEC) with the Supreme Court through the Attorney General Office alleged the Thaksin-led Cabinet resolution in 2003 endorsed charging excise on telecom businesses.

The decision is alleged to have caused financial damage to both TOT and CAT Telecom.

Mr Thaksin and his wife Khunying Potjamarn are in exile in Britain after the Supreme Court issued arrest warrants for the couple when they failed to appear in court for the Ratchada land deal scandal.

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