AG 'rejects appeal' in KTB loans case
'Oak' off hook in scandal, reports say
The Attorney-General (AG) has reportedly decided not to appeal last year's ruling in a money-laundering case linked with the Krungthai Bank (KTB) loan scandal, in which Panthongtae "Oak" Shinawatra, son of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was acquitted.
A deputy attorney-general on Monday signed on behalf of the AG not to appeal the case, some local media, including the state-funded Thai PBS, reported on Thursday.
The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct on Nov 25 ruled Mr Panthongtae had not known the source of a 10-million-baht cheque he received from a friend involved in the KTB loan scandal.
Then the Office of Attorney General (OAG)'s Department of Special Litigation sent a recommendation to the Department of Appellate Litigation that the case should not be appealed.
As a result, the case was sent back to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) which had investigated and filed charges against Mr Panthongtae.
The DSI in April told the AG the case should be appealed.
Attorney-General Wongsakul Kittipromwong said on Thursday he would have to check the reports.
Public prosecutors arraigned Mr Panthongtae on Oct 10, 2018, charging him with receiving a cheque drawn on money from illegal loans totalling 9.9 billion baht obtained from the KTB. Mr Panthongtae denied money laundering.
He said the money belonged to his friend Ratchada Krisdathanon, 53, who wanted to invest in a planned supercar import venture, which was later scrapped.
The court ruled Mr Panthongtae not guilty of money laundering because prosecutors failed to prove he knew the 10 million baht came from Mr Ratchada's father, Wichai Krisdathanon, owner of real estate developer Krisdamahanakorn (KMC).
Mr Panthongtae received the money when he was a 26-year-old graduate and owned shares in his companies worth about 4 billion baht, the court said, adding the 10-million-baht sum represented only 0.25% of his share wealth.
The New Palangdharma Party wants the OAG to appeal this ruling on the grounds that Mr Panthongtae must have known the money came from an illicit source. Mr Panthongtae had not done any businesses with Mr Wichai or his son and had no debts to repay to them.