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Thailand constitutional court rejects challenge to corruption commission

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Thailand [official website, in Thai] ruled Tuesday that the law establishing the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) [official website] is appropriate under the country's current constitution [PDF text]. Ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and his wife Pojamarn Shinawatra [JURIST news archive] had filed a constitutional challenge to the NCCC statue, arguing that the law was an unreasonable violation of their rights to individual liberty. Thaksin had also alleged that the body's authorizing statute violated Thailand's 1997 constitution and the 2006 interim charter [texts], but the court declined to consider those arguments, finding the challenges moot because those charters are no longer in effect. The Bangkok Post has more.

Thai prosecutors have brought multiple corruption charges against Thaksin and his wife since Thaksin's ouster in a September 2006 bloodless coup [JURIST report]. Last month, the Thai Attorney General's Office filed charges [JURIST report] against Thaksin relating to a 2003 resolution that reduced fees paid by mobile phone companies to state telecommunications agencies. Thaksin has also been charged in relation to an alleged corruption scheme [JURIST report] concerning the country's lottery system. Thaksin is currently the subject of 24 legal actions. Also last month, a Thai court convicted Pojamarn Shinawatra of tax evasion [JURIST report] for transferring $16.3 million worth of stock to her step-brother and secretary, who were also convicted.

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