Thailand’s ex-Prime Minister found guilty of corruption

Bangkok, Thailand – A court in Thailand sentenced former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra guilty of corruption. He was sentenced 2 years imprisonment and was handed down in absentia because Shinawatra is currently in United Kingdom.

Thaksin, 59, filed bail and fled to Britain two months ago along with his wife, Pojaman, 51, who was also charged. The Thailand Supreme Court acquitted her.

The case was started from a Bangkok land arrangement while Thaksin was in power. He was convicted of violating a law that forbids ministers or their wives from doing business with government agencies.

The court said it was a “conflict of interest” that they have violated. Thaksin’s wife, Pojama, is accused of using her husband’s political authority to buy undeveloped land from a government institution for about a third of its estimated value.

A prosecutor said the attorney-general’s office “will speed up” its effort to extradite Thaksin. “We set up a special task force to handle Thaksin’s extradition process some time ago,” said Seksan Bangsomboon.

In recent weeks, the country has seen demonstrations from anti-government protesters. His brother-in-law, Somchai Wongsawat, is the current prime minister and has been labeled a Thaksin puppet by protesters demanding his ouster.