Thai court bars ex-PM Thaksin from leaving country

Thaksin, who needs court approval to travel abroad while he is free on bail, had planned business trips to China, Japan and Britain in the next several weeks while prosecution witnesses appeared in court, the official said.

Thai court bars ex-PM Thaksin from leaving country
Thailand's Supreme Court has barred former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from leaving the country while it conducts hearings on graft charges against him and his wife, a court official said on Thursday.

Thaksin, who needs court approval to travel abroad while he is free on bail, had planned business trips to China, Japan and Britain in the next several weeks while prosecution witnesses appeared in court, the official said.

Ousted in a bloodless coup in 2006, Thaksin and his wife, Potjaman, are accused of breaking laws that prevent serving politicians and their spouses from striking deals with state agencies. They have denied any wrongdoing.

"He has requested to go abroad, but because it coincides with the appearance of witnesses and examination of evidence, the court regards the reasons given for the trips as unjustified," court official Rakkiat Wattanapong told Reuters. The court rejected the travel request on June 24 but it only came to light after a Thai newspaper reported the decision on Thursday.

Thaksin's lawyer and two legal advisers were jailed last month for an apparent attempt to bribe Supreme Court officials with $60,000 hidden in a snack box.

The three lawyers denied the charge of contempt of court.

Reuters
Last Mod: 03 Temmuz 2008, 16:48
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