By THE NATION
The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions on August 30 acquitted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra of malfeasance over allegedly influencing the approval of a huge Krung Thai Bank (KTB) loan to property giant Krisda Mahanakorn. The court also withdrew the arrest warrant for the 70-year-old fugitive.
Thaksin was indicted in 2012 under Article 157 of the Criminal Court, as well as violating four offences under as many laws governing financial institutions.
As for why Thaksin was acquitted, the court cited “an unaccredited allegation” as the reason, saying two unnamed individuals had vaguely been referred to, which became a groundless allusion referring to Thaksin and his then-wife Potjaman in a case filed by the National Counter Corruption Commission and the Office of the Attorney General.
The term “big bosses” was reportedly cited at a meeting of high-ranking KTB officials when it was suggested that a sum of money would be given to the “big boss” in exchange for the approval of a Bt99-billion loan to Krisda Mahanakorn, which was already not qualified for being a high-risk borrower.
This case saw the indictment and prosecution of 27 individuals, including Thaksin and Viroj Nualkhair, a former KTB managing director. Viroj briefly served his 18-year prison term before being released recently due to poor health and age.