Languages
Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Monday, 28 July 2008 10:53 UK

Embattled Thaksin faces new trial

By Jonathan Head
BBC News, Bangkok

 Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (file image)
Mr Thaksin was ousted in a military coup in 2006

Thailand's Supreme Court has agreed to try another case against Thaksin Shinawatra for allegedly abusing his power during his five years in office.

The new charge against the former prime minister concerns the introduction of a government lottery scheme in 2003.

He is already on trial on charges that he helped his wife buy government land, and other cases are pending.

Thailand's courts have been unusually active in pursuing cases against the government, led by Mr Thaksin's allies.

Legal barrage

An anti-government protester walks past a poster depicting ousted former PM Thaksin Shinawatra behind bars outside Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, on 3 July
A powerful lobby inside Thailand wants to see Mr Thaksin behind bars
Three politicians have already lost their jobs, and they are unlikely to be the last.

This latest charge could force the suspension of three more cabinet ministers, as they are also implicated along with Mr Thaksin.

These cases are likely to tie the former prime minister up for many months.

They could well end in a conviction, and a possible prison sentence - results Mr Thaksin clearly did not anticipate when he made a triumphant return from exile in March.

In a country where in the past political figures have frequently escaped prosecution, the barrage of legal cases against Mr Thaksin and his allies is being interpreted by some as an attempt to cripple the government by the influential royalist elite, which has strong ties to the upper echelons of the judiciary.

Others argue that this is simply a welcome application of the rule of law to everyone in Thailand, however powerful they may be.


SEE ALSO
Thaksin goes on trial in Thailand
08 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Bribe case tarnishes Thai ex-PM
25 Jun 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Unravelling Thailand's political turmoil
24 Jun 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Protesters march in Thai capital
20 Jun 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Thaksin's return raises dilemmas
28 Feb 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Thaksin Shinawatra
28 Feb 08 |  Asia-Pacific


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific