Thailand

Supreme Court rules on Thaksin's fortune

Police outside the Supreme Court in Bangkok
Police outside the Supreme Court in Bangkok Reuters

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday told supporters that he will accept the verdict of the Supreme Court in a judgement which could deprive him of much of his fortune. Thousands of police were on the streets of Bangkok, fearing an angry reaction by Thaksin’s Red Shirt supporters.

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"Today, I'm more heartened and ready for any outcome of the verdict. My family and I are prepared to deal with the imminent situation," Thaksin said, speaking by video link from his exile in Dubai.

Judges, who had arrived in bullet-proof cars, started to read a three-hour report of their findings, expected to finish after markets close.

Local media have dubbed Friday “Judgement Day”, predicting trouble on the streets and reporting rumours of a possible coup against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Up to 35,000 police and soldiers were on alert across the country, the government said, but the turnout by Red Shirts at Bangkok flashpoints seems to have been lower than predicted.

Thai authorities want to seize the proceeds from the sale of his 50 per cent of shares in his family’s telecom, Shin Corp, company to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. They allege that the profits were obtained from “conflict of interest and abuse of power”.

Protests over the sale in 2006 led to Thaksin, who was twice elected Prime Minister, being driven from power.
 

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