Party goes to court over 'Oak' loans acquittal

Party goes to court over 'Oak' loans acquittal

The New Palangdharma Party will tomorrow petition the Administrative Court against the Office of Attorney General's (OAG) decision not to fight the lower court's acquittal of Panthongtae "Oak" Shinawatra, son of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, for alleged money laundering.

Chaturan Bunbencharat, the party's spokesman, said he will ask the court to issue an injunction against the OAG's move not to appeal, which is contrary to what the Department of Special Investigation's (DSI) recommended.

He said the decision to concede the case without a fight raises questions about its role when the OAG still had until the June 25 deadline to decide whether to appeal.

Mr Chaturan said the public's scepticism has grown further following reports that a deputy attorney general had signed on behalf of the OAG not to appeal the case.

"The party has gathered arguments to support its argument in favour of an appeal and will submit them to the court tomorrow. The party is seeking an injunction against the OAG's decision which may not be legitimate," Mr Chaturan said.

The OAG on May 26 decided not to appeal the case with the deputy attorney-general in question having signed off the decision on behalf of the AG.

The case is considered closed if the acquittal is not challenged, according to the prosecutors.

The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct cleared Mr Panthongtae of charges of conspiring and colluding to launder money on Nov 25 last year.

The accusations were linked to a cheque worth 10 million baht he received from a friend with close ties to the Krisda Mahanakorn Group that illegally obtained loans worth 9.9 billion baht from the state-run the Krungthai Bank during the Thaksin administration.

Krisda Mahanakorn was listed as a non-performing debtor and was prohibited from seeking more loans.


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