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Decision soon on Thaksin criminal cases

Nov 03. 2017
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By The Nation

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The government will decide by the middle of this month whether to revive two criminal cases against fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Attorney-General Khemchai Chutiwong late last month appointed prosecutors to work on the two matters and is considering whether to proceed with them in Thaksin’s absence, according to a source at the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG).

The two issues, which relate to the Krungthai Bank loan scandal and mobile phone concession fee changes, have been suspended since Thaksin fled the country in 2008.

They are among six outstanding cases against Thaksin, who has already been found guilty in the Ratchadaphisek land deal case, for which he was sentenced to two years in prison in 2008.

The OAG also agreed to a police request to charge Thaksin with lese majeste following an interview he gave in South Korea.

Khemchai vowed last month to reactivate the suspended cases as allowed by the new law on criminal procedures for political office holders.

While the previous process did not allow court trials in absentia, Article 69 of the new law stipulates that legal action can be taken, provided these cases had not been concluded before the new law took effect.

Article 28 also says that the Supreme Court can deliberate cases in absentia if defendants fail to appear before the court.

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