[JURIST] Thailand Army Chief Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin [BBC profile], who seized power from former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [JURIST news archive] in a bloodless military coup [JURIST report] in September, admitted Thursday that investigators are struggling to find evidence of corruption, the ostensible reason for Thaksin's overthrow. The investigative commission is finding little evidence to implicate Thaksin, a billionaire telecommunications tycoon, in major corruption cases. In reference to news that Thaksin would like to return [JURIST report] to Thailand [JURIST news archive], Sonthi warned that Thaksin would not be allowed to return any time soon. Thaksin's wife, Pojaman Shinawatra, met with the top adviser to King Bhumibol Adulyadej [official profile] Thursday in an alleged attempt [TNA report] to help "pave the way" for her husband's return.
Sonthi also declined to say when he would lift martial law but reiterated [JURIST report] that it would not be until Thaksin's supporters stop trying to destabilize the political structure. Human rights groups and the US government [JURIST reports] have urged Thailand to revoke the martial law imposed [JURIST report] on the country by military leaders after the coup, calling the emergency provisions and the new military-sponsored government a threat to democracy in Thailand. Reuters has more.