“I can say that we are quite closing in on the final chapter of Mr Thaksin’s future”
Surayud Chulanont, Thai prime minister
Meanwhile, Surayud Chulanont, the current Thai prime minister, has said the investigation into corruption charges against Thaksin himself may be wrapped up by the end of April.
Surayud told a news conference in Tokyo that while he himself was not directly involved in the investigation, he believed that the probe was coming to an end.
“I can say that we are quite closing in on the final chapter of Mr. Thaksin’s future,” he added.
Commenting on the Shin Corp tax bill, a Thaksin family lawyer told the Associated Press the family had not paid tax on the deal because none had been owed.
“The transaction was carried out overseas in Singapore and the sale of Shin Corp was a transaction done in the stock market and hence exempt from capital gains tax,” Noppadol Patama, Thaksin’s lawyer and de facto spokesman in Thailand, said.
|Thaksin was accused of corruption by the
leaders of last year’s coup [EPA]
Thaksin, who has been living in exile since a coup last year, has been accused by coup leaders of corruption during his five years in office.
Last month the Thai police chief said that investigators had recommended Thaksin be charged with three counts of lese majeste, which could put him in jail for 45 years.
However, speaking on Tokyo Surayud said investigators were looking into charges linked to his first election as prime minister, among others.
Criminal tax evasion charges were brought against Thaksin’s wife and his brother last week.
Surayud also said that Thaksin was free to come back to Thailand but that his return might prove difficult.
“Yes, as a Thai citizen he can come back to Thailand, but again as one who caused big trouble in Thailand, I think it is not easy for him to come back,” he added.