Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra was sentenced to 5 years in prison by the Thailand’s Supreme Court after finding him guilty of illegally owning shares in telecommunication companies with government’s consent, conflict of interest, for changing concession fees and excise taxes to benefit his family’s company, Shin Corp.
In 2006 when Thaksin fled the country, the case was suspended but was eventually brought back to motion after the proclamation of an organic law which allows the court to hear the case in absentia.
During his second term as a prime minister, Thaksin approved the issuance of an Executive Decree reducing excise tax on mobile phone concessionaires, from 50% down to 10%, thus benefiting 2 mobile phone operators, the Advance Info Service (AIS) and Digital Phone Company which were both associated with Shin Corp.
The court sentenced Thaksin to 2 years for illegal shareholding and 3 years for conflict of interest.
Original writer: Jack Burton
Sources: The Thaiger | Thai PBS World