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Thaksin - the case for and against


Cosmo

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There are a lot of controversies surrounding this issue.Below is a summary of all the legal arguments for and against Thaksin and his family.Note: I have offered no opinionJust thought more facts, rather than hyperboles, should be provided.Thailand's Supreme Court will rule on Friday on whether to confiscate 76.6 billion baht ($2.3 billion) worth of assets belonging to the family of ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.The twice-elected Thaksin is accused of concealing shares in his family's business, Shin Corporation SHIN.BK, while in office from 2001-2006, during which time the Shinawatras allegedly accumulated "unusual wealth" as a result of government policies that favoured the company.The self-exiled Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and was later sentenced in absentia to two years in prison on a separate graft charge, says he sold his assets before taking office and the case against him is politically motivated.Below are key details of the case:PROSECUTION'S CASEThe prosecution says Thaksin abused his power by making several policy decisions advantageous to units of Shin Corp. It argued that family members who bought Shin Corp shares owned by Thaksin and his then wife, Potjaman na Pombejra, were his nominees.The prosecution says Potjaman gave money to her children and brother, Bannapot Damapong, to allow them to purchase the shares from her. Thaksin is also alleged to have secretly owned two shell companies, Ample Rich Investments and Win Mark, which held Shin Corp shares while he was in office.Final prosecution arguments included the following:-- A cabinet resolution to convert a concession fee for mobile phone operators into excise tax favoured Shin Corp, causing massive loss of revenue to two state-owned telecoms groups, TOT Thailand and CAT Telecom.-- The resolution meant mobile phone operator Advanced Info Service (AIS) ADVA.BK, which belongs to Shin Corp, paid the equivalent of only 20 percent of its revenue to TOT, instead of the previous 25-30 percent-- Policies of the Thaksin government related to the use of satellites benefited Shin Satellite, now known as Thaicom THCOM.BK and owned by Shin Corp.-- Thaksin was behind the decision to grant a low-interest, 4 billion baht ($121 million) loan from the Export-Import Bank of Thailand to Myanmar's government to buy services and equipment from Shin Satellite.-- The amendment of telecommunications laws to allow an increase in foreign holdings of a Thai company paved the way for the $1.9 billion sale of a stake in Shin Corp to Singapore state investor Temasek TEM.UL, on which the Shinawatras paid no tax.THE DEFENCEThaksin and Potjaman maintain they sold their shares legally to family members, who were not their nominees. Any money transferred to their children and Bannapot, and the below-market sale price of the shares, were gifts or rewards, and Potjaman did not receive any dividend payments from them. The defence argues Win Mark and Ample Rich -- companies registered in the British Virgin Islands -- were not owned by Thaksin.Defence final arguments included:-- Neither Thaksin nor Potjaman owned any Shin Corp shares while Thaksin was prime minister. Potjaman's shares were sold legally to her son, Panthongtae, and Bannapot before Thaksin took office. The assets Potjaman declared from 2001-2007 were acquired before Thaksin came to power.-- The petition to seize the money generated from the Shin Corp sale was illegitimate because the shares were not Potjaman's.-- Panthongtae had the authority to approve a decision by the Shin Corp board to sell a 49 percent stake in the company to Singapore's Temasek.-- The company Win Mark is not owned by Thaksin or Potjaman, but by a businessman from the United Arab Emirates.-- The now-defunct Assets Scrutiny Committee, appointed after the 2006 coup that ousted Thaksin, was biased against him. Its investigation was politically motivated to justify the coup. (Compiled by Martin Petty; Edited by Jason Szep and Andrew Marshall for Reuters)

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There are a lot of controversies surrounding this issue.Below is a summary of all the legal arguments for and against Thaksin and his family.Note: I have offered no opinionJust thought more facts, rather than hyperboles, should be provided.Thailand's Supreme Court will rule on Friday on whether to confiscate 76.6 billion baht ($2.3 billion) worth of assets belonging to the family of ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.The twice-elected Thaksin is accused of concealing shares in his family's business, Shin Corporation SHIN.BK, while in office from 2001-2006, during which time the Shinawatras allegedly accumulated "unusual wealth" as a result of government policies that favoured the company.The self-exiled Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and was later sentenced in absentia to two years in prison on a separate graft charge, says he sold his assets before taking office and the case against him is politically motivated.Below are key details of the case:PROSECUTION'S CASEThe prosecution says Thaksin abused his power by making several policy decisions advantageous to units of Shin Corp. It argued that family members who bought Shin Corp shares owned by Thaksin and his then wife, Potjaman na Pombejra, were his nominees.The prosecution says Potjaman gave money to her children and brother, Bannapot Damapong, to allow them to purchase the shares from her. Thaksin is also alleged to have secretly owned two shell companies, Ample Rich Investments and Win Mark, which held Shin Corp shares while he was in office.Final prosecution arguments included the following:-- A cabinet resolution to convert a concession fee for mobile phone operators into excise tax favoured Shin Corp, causing massive loss of revenue to two state-owned telecoms groups, TOT Thailand and CAT Telecom.-- The resolution meant mobile phone operator Advanced Info Service (AIS) ADVA.BK, which belongs to Shin Corp, paid the equivalent of only 20 percent of its revenue to TOT, instead of the previous 25-30 percent-- Policies of the Thaksin government related to the use of satellites benefited Shin Satellite, now known as Thaicom THCOM.BK and owned by Shin Corp.-- Thaksin was behind the decision to grant a low-interest, 4 billion baht ($121 million) loan from the Export-Import Bank of Thailand to Myanmar's government to buy services and equipment from Shin Satellite.-- The amendment of telecommunications laws to allow an increase in foreign holdings of a Thai company paved the way for the $1.9 billion sale of a stake in Shin Corp to Singapore state investor Temasek TEM.UL, on which the Shinawatras paid no tax.THE DEFENCEThaksin and Potjaman maintain they sold their shares legally to family members, who were not their nominees. Any money transferred to their children and Bannapot, and the below-market sale price of the shares, were gifts or rewards, and Potjaman did not receive any dividend payments from them. The defence argues Win Mark and Ample Rich -- companies registered in the British Virgin Islands -- were not owned by Thaksin.Defence final arguments included:-- Neither Thaksin nor Potjaman owned any Shin Corp shares while Thaksin was prime minister. Potjaman's shares were sold legally to her son, Panthongtae, and Bannapot before Thaksin took office. The assets Potjaman declared from 2001-2007 were acquired before Thaksin came to power.-- The petition to seize the money generated from the Shin Corp sale was illegitimate because the shares were not Potjaman's.-- Panthongtae had the authority to approve a decision by the Shin Corp board to sell a 49 percent stake in the company to Singapore's Temasek.-- The company Win Mark is not owned by Thaksin or Potjaman, but by a businessman from the United Arab Emirates.-- The now-defunct Assets Scrutiny Committee, appointed after the 2006 coup that ousted Thaksin, was biased against him. Its investigation was politically motivated to justify the coup. (Compiled by Martin Petty; Edited by Jason Szep and Andrew Marshall for Reuters)

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