Supreme Court issues arrest warrant for ex-PM Thaksin

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BANGKOK, Oct 11 — The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on malfeasance charges involving Bt9.9 billion in non-performing loans issued by state-owned Krung Thai Bank (KTB).

A bench of nine judges chaired by Chaisit Trachutham, chairman of the court’s election cases division clarified the charges to 26 defendants, including former KTB president Viroj Nualkair.

All of the defendants except Mr Thaksin appeared before the court to hear the charges.

The court, therefore, issued an arrest warrant for Mr Thaksin and suspended the suit against him from the case list, pending his arrest.

The court reasoned that Mr Thaksin was informed of the scheduled hearing but failed to appear, so it was suspected that he was fleeing the trial.

All 26 defendants denied the charges but the court set January 25 next year at 9am for examination of evidence. All defendants were told to submit their list of witnesses 14 days before the appointment date.

In this case, the Office of the Attorney-General filed malfeasance charges against Mr Thaksin, the first defendant in the case, and 26 others, including the former KTB president.

Mr Thaksin was charged with allowing the bank to grant the large amount of loans when he was a premier to three subsidiaries of debt-ridden Krisdamahanakorn real estate company in 2008.

Krisdamahanakorn PLC was then classified as a non-performing debtor of the bank and was not eligible for any further loans.