02/27/2008, 00.00
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After a year in exile, former premier Thaksin returns

A ‘welcoming committee’ will greet his arrival tomorrow at Suvarnabhumi airport. Thaksin was deposed as head of state in a non violent coup in 2006. Now he will have to appear before the Supreme Court under corruption charges.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, deposed in a 2006 military coup, returns home tomorrow after 17 months in voluntary exile.  There is high risk of tension across the country; so much so that newly elected head of government, Samak Sundaravej, has invited people to remain calm.  Thaksin’s return was confirmed yesterday by the foreign minister Noppadon Pattama. The head of the legal team defending Thaksin, Pichit Chueban, made known that the return would be “confirmed”, without clarifying the exact day or date.

A welcoming committee is being formed in Thailand to greet the ex-premier who in all probability is currently in Beijing.  His flight will land in Suvarnabhumi airport.

The ex leader, head of the Thai Rak Thai party declared he wanted to return to prove his innocence.  The military junta which deposed his government in 2006 accuses him of corruption.  The charges also involve his wife Khunying Pojaman, and are linked to the buying of state property in 2003. The former politician and communications magnate has maintained his innocence and that the charges against him were “politically motivated”.  According to public officials the couple broke anti corruption law: Thaksin apparently used his influence in negotiations to allow his wife buy land at ridiculously low prices.  The General procurators office has ordered the requisition of the 5 hectares of land in question.  The couple is due to appear before the Supreme Court.


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