ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
January 9, 2008
Granted bail of Bt 6 million and banned from travelling abroad, Pojaman, wife of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra opened a new chapter in Thailand's recent political saga.
Mrs. Pojaman arrived in Bangkok Tuesday morning and was met by a police escort at Suvarnabhumi Airport, a security escort to the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions to face corruption charges, according to police.
She arrived on Thai International flight TG 603 from Hong Kong with no welcoming entourage of supporters to greet her at the airport.
Her lawyer, Pichit Chuenban, said earlier he had prepared Bt5 million surety to seek bail for his client, an amount which was later accepted as bail.
The court scheduled the first hearing on January 23. Pojaman was also barred from leaving the country or do anything to obstruct the judicial process or the bail will be revoked.
Mr. Thaksin and his wife are charged with corruption in relation to the purchase of a Bt772 million plot of land in Bangkok's Rachadapisek area in 2003.
The former prime minister is accused of illegally influencing the deal and helping his wife purchase the government-owned parcel of land at a bargain price while he was in office. Mr. Thaksin and his wife have denied any wrongdoing.
Arrest warrants were issued for the couple for failing to appear before the Court last year. Mrs. Pojaman's lawyer said Monday that the ousted prime minister plans to return to Thailand by mid-April and is also prepared to defend himself in court.
She later returned to her Bangkok's Bang Plad residence after the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) granted her Bt1 million bail in case involving a fraudulent securities filing.
Mr. Thaksin's wife appeared before investigators on Tuesday afternoon to acknowledge charges over the alleged concealment of the shareholding structure in SC Assets, part of her familly's huge business empire.