Public prosecutor on Monday filed lawsuits against Khunying Pojaman Shinawatrra, wife of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, her brother, Bhanapot Damapong, and her personal secretary, Kanjanapa Honghern, for major tax evasion.
The three reported themselves to the Criminal Court on Monday morning and posed bail of Bt6 million for each.
They appeared at the Criminal Court at about 9.30am to hear the charge. At the press time, their lawyer are submitting Bt6-million bank accounts for bail for each person.
Court has set May 24 to check proposing evidence of both parties.
If convicted, they would face jail terms of up to 14 years each for tax evasion.
This is apparently the first time that a wife of a Thai prime minister was charged with criminal-linked charge and tax irregularities.
Public prosecutors believed that Pojaman, Bhanapot and Kanjanapa were involving in filing income tax returns in relation to a shock transaction in 2000. They were alleged to unlawfully claim tax exemption.
Prosecutors earlier said they would treat the case as a criminal conspiracy, and the matter could not be settled out of court even if the defendants later decided to meet their tax obligations.
Based on the Assets Examination Commission's report, the defendants were liable for Bt500 million in unpaid tax, he said.
If convicted, they would have to meet their tax liabilities and pay a fine of up to Bt400,000 on top of any time served in jail, he said.
This is disgusting. The current illegally installed government is going after the Shinawatras for a criminal conspiracy that happened before they even came to power, during Chuan II. What exactly will be the government's defense when the officials who were responsible for overseeing the Shinawatras tax returns did nothing?
The Shinawatra defense: How come they weren't audited back then? Why didn't the corruption commission prosecute during the asset concealment case?
Does this justify the coup? Nope.
This is an Al Capone type of prosecution. They have nothing of substance to get the Shins on, so they audit their books from 8 years ago. Why not audit their taxes from when they were in power, so it can be proved that they used their authority to break the law?
This current government is like a Soviet style government. It uses selective prosecution to chase after its enemies.
Anywhere in the civilized world this would be denounced as unjust bordering on the fascistic, but, in Thailand, business as usual.