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Thaksin pleads he was not involved

Thaksin Shinawatra says he had nothing to do with the alleged bribery attempt over which three of his lawyers have been sentenced to six months in prison.

The former prime minister's personal spokesman, Pongthep Thepkanchana, said yesterday Thaksin expressed his regret over the incident and was ready to testify to the court at any time if asked.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sentenced Pichit Chuenban, Suphasri Srisawat and Thana Tansiri to six months in prison for contempt of court. The three were on the legal team for Thaksin and his wife Pojaman in the Ratchadaphisek land case before the court.

The contempt of court charge was in connection with them leaving Bt2 million stashed in a snack bag with Supreme Court officials on June 10, when they were reporting to the court on Thaksin and Pojaman's return from a trip abroad.

Yesterday, Supreme Court spokesman Saravuth Benjakul said the court had assigned an official to file a complaint at the Chanasongkram Police Station against Pichit, Suphasri and Thana in connection with the alleged bribery attempt.

"The next step is that the police investigators will have to find out where the money came from. This is the routine process of justice," he said.

Democrat Party spokesman Ong-art Klampaiboon called on the Samak government to pay attention to the case, saying otherwise there might be more attempts of judicial interference,

He also urged the Anti-Money Laundering Office to trace the Bt2 million so that the authorities knew whose money it was in the first place.

"At this time, there might be an attempt to limit the development of the case to only these three lawyers so that they can't say who are behind the scenes. The three lawyers can be held as witnesses to help the case," Ong-art said.

"Thaksin can't deny his involvement because the three lawyers work closely with him," he added.

Pichit and Suphasri were escorted straight to prison after sentencing on Wednesday. Thana did not show up in court because he was ill. Pongthep said Thana was being treated at Bumrungrad Hospital and was in police custody.

Seri Suphanphanont, a Constitution drafter, said it would be difficult to implicate anyone other than the three lawyers for alleged bribery if there was no clear  evidence.



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