A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Thailand court acquits ex-wife of ex-PM Thaksin

A Thai court on Wednesday acquitted Pojamarn Shinawatra [JURIST news archive], the ex-wife of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], overturning a tax evasion conviction. Shinawatra was convicted of tax evasion [JURIST report] in July 2008 for transferring $16.3 million worth of stock to her step-brother and secretary, who were also convicted. Pojamarn and step-brother Bannapot Damapong were each sentenced to three years, and her secretary was sentenced to two years imprisonment for the crime. The three appealed, and all three convictions were overturned [AFP report]. The Bangkok criminal court, however, upheld a tax evasion conviction and two-year sentence for Damapong and imposed a USD $3,300 fine.

Thailand's political system has remained unstable following the coup that ousted Thaksin in 2006. In February, seven leaders of Thailand's "red-shirt" [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] pro-democracy movement, another group that opposes the country's current leadership, were released on bail [JURIST report]. They were arrested on terrorism charges stemming from their involvement in the anti-government protests [JURIST news archive] in Bangkok. In January, members of the movement also petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to launch a preliminary investigation [JURIST report] into whether the government committed crimes against humanity during those protests. The Constitutional Court of Thailand ordered that 46.4 billion baht (USD $1.4 billion) of Thaksin's fortune be seized [JURIST report] in Februrary 2010, a ruling that led to violent protests that took place in Bangkok last spring.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.