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
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
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.