Court issues arrest warrant for Thaksin in KTB loan trial

Court issues arrest warrant for Thaksin in KTB loan trial

A picture of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra seen in a community near Wat Kalayanamitr in Thon Buri district in September 2015. (Post Today file photo)
A picture of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra seen in a community near Wat Kalayanamitr in Thon Buri district in September 2015. (Post Today file photo)

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for Thaksin Shinawatra after the former prime minister failed to appear at his trial in the Krung Thai Bank loan case.

The court had set Wednesday for Thaksin to attend the hearing involving the loan scandal around property developer Krisdamahanakorn.

When the former prime minister did not appear, the court issued an arrest warrant. The defendant showed his intention to flee because he had not informed the court why he could not attend or asked for a postponement, the court said.

The court directed the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) to capture Thaksin and report back on developments every month.

The OAG asked the court to resume the hearing of the case against Thaksin under a new organic law that allows the trial of fugitive politicians in absentia.

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

The case involves 27 defendants including Thaksin, named as the first defendant because he was prime minister at the time. 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 an allegation he manipulated telecom concession fees for his own company's gain.

He has been a fugitive politician since then, and is based mainly in Dubai. He was in London preparing a birthday celebration for his younger sister and also former prime minister Yingluck on Thursday, according to BBC Thai, quoting sources close to Ms Yingluck.


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