Thailand prosecutors file new corruption charges against ex-PM Thaksin

[JURIST] The Thai Attorney General's Office filed new corruption charges against former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] in the country's Supreme Court Friday. The charges relate to a 2003 resolution that reduced fees paid by mobile phone companies to state telecommunications agencies. A company then owned by Thaksin's family saw the greatest benefit from the new payment scheme, leading to claims that Thaksin misused his authority for personal gain. Thaksin, who was ousted in a military coup [JURIST report] in 2006, is involved in twenty-four legal actions. On Tuesday, Thaksin went on trial on corruption charges [JURIST report] related to a 2003 land purchase his wife arranged with a government-directed institution despite a ban on officials making business deals with government agencies. AP has more. The Bangkok Post has local coverage.

Also this week, the opposition Democrat party announced it would launch an impeachment bid against current Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej [BBC profile] after a series of court decisions against key government officials. On Wednesday, the Thai Constitutional Court [official website, in Thai] dismissed Thai Public Health Minister Chaiya Sasomsup from office after finding he had violated finance laws by not declaring certain assets held by his wife. On Tuesday, the court had ruled [JURIST report] that a June cabinet communique signed by Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama in support of a World Heritage site on Thailand's border with Cambodia was unconstitutional [PDF press release, in Thai]. Opposition parties moved to seek Noppadon's impeachment, but Noppadon stepped down [Bangkok Post report] Thursday.

 

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