Petition lodged over acquittal of 'Oak' Shinawatra

Petition lodged over acquittal of 'Oak' Shinawatra

Panthongtae: Had B10m loan cheque.
Panthongtae: Had B10m loan cheque.

The New Palangdharma Party on Monday petitioned the Central Administrative Court over the Office of Attorney General's (OAG) decision not to appeal the lower court's acquittal of Panthongtae "Oak" Shinawatra, son of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in connection with a money-laundering case linked with the Krungthai Bank (KTB) loan scandal.

Speaking after submitting the petition, Party Spokesman Chaturan Bunbencharat said that the public has raised questions about the role of the OAG following reports that a deputy attorney-general had signed off on the decision not to appeal the case while the attorney-general was busy with other engagements in the provinces.

He said it was open to question why the OAG rushed to decide not to pursue the appeal when it still had plenty of time until the June 25 deadline.

Mr Chaturan added some minority judges handling the case had found Mr Panthongtae guilty and called on the attorney-general to review the decision not to appeal the case.

He also said the party may also ask the National Anti-Corruption Commission to consider if the decision not to appeal was legal.

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 attorney-general.

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 KTB during the Thaksin administration.

The court ruled Mr Panthongtae not guilty of money laundering because prosecutors failed to prove he knew the source of the 10-million-baht cheque.

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