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Thaksin found guilty

Thailand's former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was today sentenced to two years' imprisonment in absentia over a corrupt land deal.

In a ruling that made him the first Thai politician to be convicted of corruption committed while prime minister, Thaksin was found to have violated conflict of interest rules in helping his wife buy land from a state agency at a reduced price.

The conviction was the first against Thaksin since he was ousted by a military coup in 2006, despite a raft of other corruption charges against him.


Whilst it won't affect Thaksin's immediate status given he has no plans to return to Thailand anytime soon, there could be ramifications further down the line given the report suggest that his extradition is likely to be sought.

Thaksin was cleared of a more serious charge of abuse of power to obtain the land at a bargain price, and dismissed the guilty charge, saying "I had long anticipated it would turn out this way."

The issue of extradition was the main worry I had when he was still owner of the club, and whilst he does have approximately a 10% stake in the club still, the effect is nowhere near on the scale it would have been had he been at the helm.

Still, I don't see how the UK government deny the request given Thailand is no longer under military regime, a decision Thaksin will surely challenge, leading to a lengthy (and expensive) legal process.

UPDATE: The Express suggests Thaksin will sell his remaining 10% holding in the club following the verdict.