Supreme Court clears Thaksin in Krungthai loans case

Supreme Court clears Thaksin in Krungthai loans case

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders has cleared former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra of involvement in the Krungthai Bank loan scandal. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders has cleared former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra of involvement in the Krungthai Bank loan scandal. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Holders of Political Positions has cleared former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra of a charge of being the man behind the Krungthai Bank (KTB) loan scandal 16 years ago.

The court ruled that the prosecution witness had failed to provide substantive evidence to prove the former prime minister influenced the approval of the loans, as claimed.

Former KTB board member Chainarong Intharmeechai was the witness the state called in accusing Thaksin of acting behind the scenes and ordering the bank to approve loans totalling 9.9 billion baht to subsidiaries of property developer Krisdamahanakorn Plc in 2003-2004 when he was the prime minister.

Mr Chainarong claimed he was told by the second defendant that a "big boss" had approved the deal. Mr Chainarnong assumed that the  "big boss" was Thaksin.

The second defendant in the case was Suchai Jaovisidh, then an executive of KTB.

The witness's testimony was in contradiction with his statement made to the now-defunct Assets Scrutiny Committee,  when he said the "big boss" could be Mr Thaksin or his wife at the time, Khunying Potjaman Na Pombejra.

The court said Mr Chainarong's account could not substantiate the allegation, as it was only his assumption that the "big boss" was the former prime minister.

The KTB loan case was submitted to the court on June 13, 2012 and the court accepted the case on July 1, 2012. The trial had to be suspended under the old law because Thaksin had fled the country.

The case involves 27 defendants, including Thaksin. The KTB approved loans totalling more than 9.9 billion baht in 2003-2004 to Krisdamahanakorn, even though the firm was listed with the bank as a non-performing debtor.

On Aug 26, 2015, the Supreme Court sentenced 19 of 26 defendants in the Krungthai case to jail for their involvement in approving the loans.

Thaksin has faced numerous arrest warrants since he fled the country in 2008. One of them involves hs alleged manipulation of telecom concession fees for his own company's gain.


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