Lawyer for ex-Thailand PM jailed for bribery attempt News
Lawyer for ex-Thailand PM jailed for bribery attempt

[JURIST] Thana Tansiri, a lawyer for former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], began serving a six-month prison sentence Monday for his role in an attempt to bribe officials [Nation report] overseeing a corruption case against Thaksin. Thana is one of three lawyers sentenced [Nation report] last week for delivering a paper bag containing $60,000 to a court official. The two other lawyers involved are already in prison, but Thana's sentence had been delayed while he was hospitalized for "stress." All three lawyers say the bag was delivered by mistake, and Thaksin has denied that he was part of any bribery plan [Nation report]. The Nation has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

Also Monday, Thailand's Constitutional Court [official website, in Thai] ruled that the Assets Examination Committee, a panel formed to investigate corruption charges against Thaksin, was not rendered invalid after voters approved a new constitution [JURIST report] last year. Last week, the Committee recommend that two new charges be brought [AP report] against Thaksin, one for using his position to secure a $127 million loan to benefit a company owned by his family, and another for corruption related to the purchase of approximately $43 million worth of rubber trees. In March, Thaksin pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to separate corruption charges stemming from a 2003 land purchase by his wife Pojamarn from a government-directed institution despite a ban on officials making business deals with government agencies. In February, Thaksin returned to Thailand from self-imposed exile to face corruption charges laid against him after he was ousted in a military coup [JURIST reports] in September 2006. AFP has more.