The Appeal Court on Wednesday dismissed a defamation suit filed by expremier Thaksin Shinawatra against former asset examination committee member Kaewsan Athipothi.
Kaewsan’s statement on a news show in 2007 about Thaksin’s tax evasion proved true and his assets were later confiscated, the Court said. Moreover Thaksin was a political figure and thus was subject to criticism.
The Court noted that Thaksin was out of the public office following the 2006 coup and the defendant had been appointed as a member of asset examination committee. Thaksin argued that Kaewsan’s statement during the TV talk show implied he was involved in assets concealment and tax evasion.
The Court said Thaksin became prime minister through an election and had sworn to be loyal to the monarchy and work with honesty. He was also considered a public figure and as such, open to criticism.
Referring to Kaewsan's statement that Thaksin concealed millions of shares and evaded paying taxes from selling stocks to a Singaporean company. Supreme Court found Thaksin guilty of hiding the stocks and later ordered confiscation of his assets. The defendant’s comments were therefore true.
Kaewsan said after the ruling that he was happy that the Court confirmed his innocence in the case.