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Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Thai PM's son cleared of cheating
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
Panthongtae is the only son of the prime minister (pictured)
The son of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been cleared of cheating, despite being found with notes during a university exam.

Panthongtae Shinawatra, 22, was punished for taking "unrelated" notes into the exam but was not intending to cheat, a professor said on Thursday.

He has automatically failed the political science subject he was sitting but can re-take the exam in the next academic year.

"He just violated university rules which forbid students bringing any papers into the exam room," Professor Vichot Wanno told AFP news agency.

Mr Panthongtae, a student at Bangkok's Ramkhamhaeng University, was escorted from an exam room last month when an inspector caught him with notes.

The prime minister's son is one of Thailand's richest men, after much of the wealth generated by the Shin Corp telecoms empire his father founded was transferred to his name to comply with constitutional rules.

Failing the course was the lightest punishment possible for Mr Panthongtae, who faced being banned from his studies for up to a year.

See also:

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