Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Shinawatra facing court date

Thailand's exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra
moved a step closer to facing corruption charges today after the supreme court
agreed to hear the allegations against him.
Just as Mr Thaksin appeared to
be within days of closing a £81.6m deal to buy Manchester City football club,
Thailand's highest court for the first time ordered him to answer accusations
surrounding a multi-million pound land deal.

The date of the hearing against him is scheduled to be August 14th - which falls conveniently on the eve of our first home game, lending some weight perhaps to the suggestion that the charges are indeed politically and personally motivated, and perhaps designed to damage any publicity Shinawatra may receive for attending the first game of the season.

The article goes onto to say (quoting his lawyers) that there is no chance he will attend the hearings and Shinawatra himself has said he will only return after the democratic elections this December.

Rightly or wrongly, it does beg the question that for all the vast sums of money and assets that have been frozen, the only charges brought against him (at this stage) are an £11 million land deal in which seemingly it is his wife who is mainly suggested as the 'guilty' party.

There was another interesting article which suggested that a conviction in abstentia could result in Shinawatra failing the 'fit and proper' person test that all owners have to pass, but assuming the takeover is completed I do not see that their is any legal grounds which can force Shinawatra to then sell the club and relinquish control - as a safeguard though this may have been a reason to appoint his son and daughter onto the board.

Perhaps the sooner that the season does get under way, the media may push to one side the off-field distractions that have been brought to the club with the takeover and concentrate solely on footballing matters.

Or perhaps not.

vote it up!

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