Thai Supreme Court rejects Thaksin`s asset appeal
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 20:59
  
Bangkok: Thailand's Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his family against the seizure of USD 1.4 billion of their assets.

Thaksin, who was stripped of more than half his fortune in February for abuse of power, did not provide any new evidence to support his case, the court found after almost two hours of deliberation by no fewer than 119 judges.

"The legal process is over. There is nothing we can do," said Thaksin's lawyer, Chatthip Tantaprasart.

Thai courts have issued a series of warrants for Thaksin for charges including terrorism -- an accusation linked to violent street protests in April and May by his supporters within the anti-government "Red Shirt" movement.

The former telecoms tycoon was ousted in a bloodless military coup in 2006 and lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a prison jail imposed in absentia for corruption.

The decision in February to confiscate 60 per cent of Thaksin's USD 2.3 billion of frozen assets angered his red-shirted supporters, who staged two months of opposition rallies in the heart of Bangkok from mid-March.

The protests descended into several bouts of bloodshed that left at least 90 people dead and some 1,900 injured in a series of clashes between armed troops and demonstrators.

Bangkok and nine other provinces -- out of a total of 76 -- remain under a state of emergency which bans public gatherings of more than five people and gives security forces the right to detain suspects for 30 days without charge.

At one point about one-third of the country was under emergency rule, but the government has rolled that back in some areas.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said today he expected to lift emergency rule next week in two or three more provinces whose economies rely heavily on tourism.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 20:59


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