Court accepts Thaksin KTB loans case
The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions has accepted for further proceedings a malfeasance case brought against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and 26 others involving 11.58 billion baht in loans from Krung Thai Bank.
The decision was made by a bench of nine judges chaired by Chaisit Trachutham, chairman of the court's election cases division.
The case was filed by Attorney-General Julasingh Vasantasingh against 27 accused - Thaksin, former KTB president Viroj Nuankae, and affiliates of Krisdamahanakorn Plc, a listed company and major real estate developer that bought up a lot of land around Suvarnabhumi airport before it was built.
They are accused of malfeasance in violation of Article 157 of the Criminal Code, the law on offences committed by officials of state-run agencies, the Commercial Banks Act, the Securities and Exchange Act, and the Public Companies Act.
According to the indictment, the state-owned KTB approved a large amount in loans to Krisdamahanakorn's affiliates even though Krisdamahanakorn was at the time classified as a non-performing debtor of the bank.
Under the debt rehabilitation agreement, Krisdamahanakorn was not eligible for any more loans.
The bank eventually approved loans to the firm's affiliates, including 500 million baht to RK Professional and 9.9 billion baht to Golden Technology Industrial Park, and extended another 1.18 billion baht via selling convertible preferred shares to Grand Computer and Communication.
The court set Oct 11 for the first hearing to examine the defendants' testimony.
Other members of the Shinawatra family were not charged even though the coup-installed Asset Scrutiny Committee (ASC), which investigated the cases, had previously implicated Thaksin's son Panthongtae Shinawatra.
The ASC alleged that the money was later transferred to the account of Mr Panthongtae, but the Office of the Attorney General did not confirm this in its indictment.
NACC accused Thaksin of damaging the economic system by allowing KTB to issue large amount of credits when he was a premier. A Krung Thai Bank witness testified to the subcommittee, incriminating Thaksin, his wife Khunying Pojaman Shinawatra and their son Panthongtae Shinawatra for ordering the bank to approve the loan.
Last month, the opposition Democrat Party submitted a letter to the OAG and the National Anti-Corruption Commission, asking for an explanation why they had not pressed charges against Mr Panthongtae.
25 July 2012
Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)