'Oak' to learn his fate in November

'Oak' to learn his fate in November

Court sets date for ruling in KTB case

Panthongtae ‘Oak’ Shinawatra talks to reporters as he turns up at the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases to enter his plea in a money laundering case in November last year. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Panthongtae ‘Oak’ Shinawatra talks to reporters as he turns up at the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases to enter his plea in a money laundering case in November last year. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Panthongtae "Oak" Shinawatra, son of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, is to learn his fate over his money-laundering case in November.

The date of the ruling was tentatively set on Thursday when Mr Panthongtae appeared at the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases for a hearing to examine evidence at the start of his trial.

He stands accused of receiving a cheque for 10-million-baht, which was linked to wrongfully approved Krungthai Bank loans totalling 9.9 billion baht that the state-run bank granted to subsidiaries of real estate developer Krisdamahanakorn while Thaksin was premier.

Mr Panthongtae was greeted at the court by a number of Pheu Thai Party members, including party leader Viroj Pao-in, secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai, prime ministerial candidates Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan and Chaikasem Nitisiri.

He was also accompanied by his sisters -- Pintongta and Paetongtarn Shinawatra.

Speaking after the court adjourned, Mr Panthongtae said witness testimonies for the case will be heard on Sept 24, 25 and 26.

"The ruling is slated for Nov 25 at 10am," said Mr Panthongtae. "I am confident [of winning the case]. I am ready to present witnesses and evidence at the trial."

He said he was unfazed by the possibility that the court might find him guilty and refused to comment on the current political situation.

Krisdamahanakorn owner Wichai Krisdathanon and five others were indicted on Sept 4 last year for alleged money laundering in connection with the KTB loans.

Wichai, who was sentenced to 12 years over the KTB loans in 2015, was one of those prosecuted over the loan transfers, while Mr Panthongate is among those being pursued for being a loan recipient.

Apart from Mr Panthongtae, Kanchanapa Honghern, secretary to Thaksin's ex-wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra, her husband Wanchai Honghern, and Manop Divari are also suspected of laundering money in the scandal.

Ms Kanchanapa and her husband failed to report to prosecutors to hear indictments against them on Oct 31. They now face arrest warrants.

Mr Panthongtae was indicted on charges of conspiracy and collusion in money laundering on Oct 10.

Under the debt rehabilitation agreement, Krisdamahanakorn was not eligible to receive any more loans. However, KTB eventually lent 9.9 billion baht to its subsidiaries to refinance loans and for project development.

In 2015, former KTB president Viroj Nualkhair, former bank chairman Suchai Jaovisidha and 22 other defendants were found guilty of charges connected to the KTB scandal.

The pair were among those in charge of transferring money to recipients including Mr Panthongtae.


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