Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Second arrest warrant issued for Thaksin Shinawatra

The Supreme Court issued a second arrest warrant for ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday after he failed to appear for a case charging him with influencing the Export-Import Bank's four-billion-baht loan to Burma four years ago.

Mr Thaksin's lawyers showed up at the court but the ex-premier has said he intends to remain in Britain. Mr Thaksin fled Thailand for London on July 31 to escape criminal charges against him.

The case, filed by the Assets Scrutiny Committee, involves the 2004 low-interest loan extended to Burma by the Thai Exim Bank.

Mr Thaksin is accused of wielding his influence to extend a loan of four billion baht to Burma in exchange for satellite services and orders of satellite equipment which Burma was to place with his family's satellite and broadband business, Shin Satellite Company.

Last month, the Supreme Court issued another warrant for him and his wife after the couple skipped bail and failed to report for a hearing on Ratchadaphisek land deal case.

Mr Thaksin is accused of abusing his authority as prime minister to aid his wife's purchase of 33 rai of prime land in the Ratchadaphisek area from the Financial Institutions Development Fund with a bid of 772 million baht, far lower than the market price of about two billion baht. The deal took place in 2003.

Mr Thaksin has earlier denied that he or his family was involved in any wrongdoing.

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