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Court delays ruling on Ratchadaphisek land to next month

The verdict in the Ratchadaphisek land auction trial has been deferred to October 21 instead of yesterday after former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Khunying Pojaman



Shinawatra failed to appear. The court ordered arrest warrants to be issued against Thaksin and Pojaman who skipped bailed and fled to London in the middle of August.

Defence lawyers were not sitting in the court yesterday as they earlier informed the court that Thaksin and Pojaman no longer wished to have legal representation.

Sources from the Office of the Attorney General said the office would seek ways to extradite the two from England.

Some have already speculated on whether the two will be found guilty or not.

Anti-corruption activist Veera Somkwamkid, who was amongst those who testified in the trial, said he believed defence lawyers had failed to prove that Thaksin and his wife were innocent.

Pojaman won the Ratchadapisek land auction in 2003 from the state-owned Financial Institutions Development Fund while Thaksin was prime minister.

One observer at the court yesterday said he hoped the rural poor would change their attitude about supporting Thaksin if the former premier was found guilty.

BOX

Three arrest warrants against Thaksin

1. Issued on August 11 by the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders against Thaksin and his wife Khunying Pojaman Shinawatra for skipping bail in the Ratchadaphisek land auction case. The couple fled to London instead of returning to Bangkok from Beijing.

2. Issued yesterday against Thaksin and Pojaman after the couple failed to show up to hear the verdict in the Ratchadaphisek case. The no show also caused the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders to defer the verdict until October 21.

3. Issued on September 16 against Thaksin for failing to show up for the beginning of his trial on the alleged irregularity in the Bt4-billion loan given by state-controlled Export and Import Bank to the military government of Burma while Thaksin was premier.

 


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