Royal decorations for Thaksin recalled

Royal decorations for Thaksin recalled

His Majesty the King has recalled the royal decorations bestowed on former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, effective from Friday.

The announcement was published in the Royal Gazette on Saturday.

“Thaksin Shinawatra was sentenced by a final ruling of the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions to imprisonment and is facing several other charges but he fled the kingdom, an act highly inappropriate," read the announcement.

By the authority under Section 9 of the 2018 Constitution, His Majesty the King recalled the Knight Grand Commander (Second Class, Higher Grade) of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao; the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class), Knight Grand Cross (First Class) and Companion (Fourth Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant; the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class), Commander (Third Class) and Companion (Fourth Class) and Member (Fifth Class)  of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand; the Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn; and the Boy Scout Citation Medal (First Class), according to the announcement.

Thaksin was stripped of his police lieutenant colonel rank in September 2015. The board of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School alumni also on Wednesday resolved to withdraw his alumnus achievement awards.

On Oct 21, 2008, the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced Thaksin to two years in jail, convicting him of violating the National Counter Corruption Act in the Ratchadaphisek land purchase case.

He was charged with abusing his authority while prime minister when he gave consent to his then-wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra to join the auction of 33 rai of land on Thiam Ruam Mit Road in the Ratchadaphisek area put on the block by the Bank of Thailand's Financial Institutions Development Fund.

Thaksin, who was removed from office by a coup while overseas in 2006 but later returned, fled the country in 2008, just before the court handed down the sentence. 

He jumped bail after attending the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games with his then-wife in Beijing in August 2008. The couple later divorced and she returned to Thailand.

The statute of limitations on the Ratchada land case has already expired but Thaksin is facing four other charges involving the conversion of telecom concession fees to excise tax, Krungthai Bank loans to the developer Krisadamahanakorn, lending to the Myanmar government, and attempts to start an online lottery. The cases are being tried in absentia under a new law that allows it.  

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