KTB acquittal sees DSI launch probe

KTB acquittal sees DSI launch probe

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has set up a team to examine the public prosecutor's decision not to indict a secretary of Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra, former wife of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and her secretary's husband in a money-laundering case linked to the Krungthai Bank (KTB) loan scandal.

The DSI has already received details of the decision by the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) and therefore it won't take long for the team tasked with examining the matter to decide whether the DSI should appeal against the prosecutor's decision, said Traiyarit Temahiwong, director-general of the DSI, yesterday.

On Thursday, Itthiphon Kaeothip, spokesman for the OAG, said it has resolved to drop money-laundering charges against Kanchanapa Honghern and her husband, Wanchai Honghern, in the case involving a 26-million-baht cheque issued in relation to the KTB loan scandal.

Both parties previously petitioned the OAG to drop charges against them, citing precedent, after Thaksin and his son, Panthongtae Shinawatra, were acquitted in the KTB case, in which the state-run bank granted 9.9 billion baht to affiliates of Krisda Mahanakorn during the Thaksin administration, said Mr Itthiphon.

Under article No.58 of the OAG's regulations on criminal case prosecution, the OAG may decide to drop charges against certain suspects if others in the same case are formally acquitted on the same charges, he said.

And in this case, the OAG agreed to drop money laundering charges against Ms Kanchanapa and Mr Wanchai for the very same reason, said the OAG spokesman.

Also, the OAG did not find any proof that the couple had really been involved in money laundering activities linked to the scandal as claimed by the DSI, he said.

The OAG is now waiting for the DSI chief to decide whether he will appeal against its decision leading which would lead to its forwarding to the Attorney-General for consideration before a final verdict can be given on the case, he said.

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