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July 19, 2007

Thaksin sues graft busters for US$1.5bn
Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra sued a military-appointed anti-graft panel on Thursday demanding 50 billion baht ($1.5 billion) in compensation for damage caused by its order to freeze his assets, Reuters reported.

Thaksin lawyers filed the case in Bangkok's Civil Court accusing the 11-member Asset Examination Committee, set up after Thaksin was ousted in a bloodless September coup, of freezing US$1.58 billion in domestic bank accounts illegally.

"We demand 50,016 million baht from the committee - 16 million baht for the investment opportunity losses and 50 billion baht for damages to fame and integrity," lawyer and spokesman Noppadon Pattama told a news conference after filing the suit.

The AEC, a panel of legal and accounting experts, did not press charges against Thaksin when it ordered banks to freeze his accounts, but it said it had come to the conclusion that "Thaksin and his cronies had been corrupt and committed wrongdoings".

Noppadon said Thaksin's legal team would also file a criminal case against the AEC, accusing it of freezing his assets illegally, and would send a separate request to the panel to unfreeze the assets. Reuters

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