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Thailand prosecutors ask court to seize assets of ex-PM Thaksin and wife

[JURIST] Prosecutors in Thailand have asked the nation's Supreme Court to seize over $2 billion from the frozen accounts and holdings of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and his wife Pojamarn Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], who already forfeited nearly $400,000 when they fled to the UK while on bail from corruption charges. Earlier this month, the Court announced plans to try the two in absentia [AP report; JURIST report] after the couple refused to return from the UK and accused the Court of bias [JURIST reports] against them. Arrest warrants were issued [Bangkok Post report] when they failed to appear in court. The Thai government is reportedly seeking their extradition [Bloomberg report] from the UK. Xinhua has more. The Telegraph has additional coverage.

Last month, the Thai Attorney General's Office filed corruption charges [JURIST report] against Thaksin for his role in a 2003 resolution reducing fees paid by mobile phone companies to state telecommunications agencies. In April, Pojamarn pleaded not guilty to charges [JURIST reports] stemming from a 2003 agreement with the government-directed Financial Institutions Development Fund [official website] to purchase land said to be worth three times more than the $26 million she paid for it. Lawyers for Thaksin have been jailed [JURIST report] for attempting to bribe court officials in one of Thaksin's cases, and current Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej [BBC profile] is facing possible impeachment proceedings [JURIST report] due in part to his party's close association with Thaksin.

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