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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 07:26 GMT
Thaksin's wife back in Thailand
Pojamarn Shinawatra, pictured in March 2007
Pojamarn Shinawatra says she will fight the charges against her
The wife of ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra has returned to Thailand to fight corruption charges against her.

Pojaman Shinawatra was arrested on arrival, but released on bail after appearing at the Supreme Court.

With her husband, she faces two sets of charges related to alleged violation of stock-trading laws and a land sale.

Her return comes as the People Power Party, which backs Mr Thaksin, works to form a government after winning the most seats in last month's election.

In the first polls since the military coup of September 2006, the PPP fell short of an outright majority and is seeking to form a coalition with smaller parties.

But 65 of its winning candidates now face investigation over possible voting fraud, prompting party leader Samak Sundaravej to accuse coup leaders of sabotaging his efforts to form a government.

Court appearance

Mr Thaksin, a telecommunications billionaire, and his wife have been living outside Thailand since the military seized power, accusing him of corruption and abuse of power.

Thaksin Shinawatra, at a press conference in Hong Kong in December 2007
Mr Thaksin has said he will return once a government is in place

Last year, Thai courts issued arrest warrants for the couple in connection with two financial cases.

One relates to the purchase of a plot of land in central Bangkok, the second to an alleged attempt to conceal assets, violating the stock-trading law.

The couple deny any wrongdoing and say the charges against them are politically motivated.

In a statement on Monday issued via her lawyer, Pojaman said that she was "willing to fight the case in court in accordance with the judicial system".

Arriving in Bangkok, she was handed an arrest warrant by waiting police, who took her straight to the Supreme Court for a hearing related to the real estate deal.

There she was released on bail of 5m baht ($149,000, 75,600) and ordered not to leave the country.

Pojaman Shinawatra has always been seen as her husband's closest political and business partner, and some analysts see her return as an attempt to prepare the way for Mr Thaksin's eventual homecoming.

Mr Thaksin remains overseas, but says he plans to return to Thailand by April, once a new government is in power.

The new parliament is due to convene on 22 January, but as yet no government has been formed.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Pojaman Shinawatra arrives at Thailand's Supreme Court





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