Graft buster to reactivate criminal cases against fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has agreed to reactivate two cases against ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra for extension of loans to Myanmar and online lottery.

The two cases are among three cases which the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions had disposed of since 2008 when Thaksin fled the country and could not be brought back for trial.

Another case involved the purchase of fire trucks in which corrupt officials also fled the country.

NACC board chairman Pol Gen Vajaraphol Prasarnrajakij said the NACC board agreed to reactivate the three cases under the provisions of the new organic law which empowers the court to try suspect in absentia.

As a consequence, the NACC has the authority under the new law to reactivate the cases, he said.

He said the NACC’s legal team will gather all evidence and documents to submit to the court to convict them.

Earlier in 2008, Thaksin was accused of giving approval to the Export-Import Bank’s extension of
4 billion baht loan to Myanmar to develop its telecommunications networks. The loan was meant to contribute to his family’s business, then Shin Satellite, an subsidiary of then Shin Corporation.

In this case, Thaksin was alleged to have abused his power as the loan could benefit his family’s business, Shin Corp. The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for political office holders has suspended the case because Thaksin is a fugitive.

Thaksin and his cabinet were also accused of violating the law when they launched a lottery scheme in 2003.