Thaksin charged in Thai court

First formal charges against ousted PM over alleged wrongdoing in land deal.

    Thaksin remains very popular in Thailand,
    especially among rural communities [Reuters]
    The attorney-general's office also recommended that officials seize the 5.16 hectare plot of land, valued at $23.7m.
     
    The court said it would decide on July 10 if it will hear the case.
     
    Officials said on Wednesday that they would freeze an additional $154m of Thaksin's assets, bringing to more than $2bn the total amount frozen since June 11 because of suspicions that it was obtained through corrupt means.
     
    Thai police this week ordered Thaksin and his wife to return to Bangkok or face a warrant for their arrest over corruption allegations.
     
    Thaksin was ousted in a September coup while he was on a visit to the US and has since lived in London and travelled around Asia.
     
    Earlier elections
     
    On Wednesday, Thaksin's successor Surayud Chulanont said the country may hold new elections as early as November if the draft of the new constitution passed a national referendum in August.
     
    Speaking after a meeting with members of the state election commission, the military-installed prime minister said polls could be held on November 25, ahead of the previously proposed dates of December 16 or 23.
     
    His announcement, coupled with the actions against Thaksin, appear to signal that the government is trying to accelerate moves to restore political normality while eradicating the influence of the ousted premier.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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