A lawyer for Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has stated that his client will not be returning to Thailand any time soon to respond to the criminal charges being laid against him.

Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra (that’s pronounced “Tak-sin Sin-a-wat” for readers unfamiliar with the odd way Thai is transliterated into English), has ignored a court summons requesting his presence in a Bangkok courtroom. Mr. Thaksin has not returned home to Thailand since the 2006 coup, and has been spending most of his time in London where he has gained new fame for his bid on the Manchester City football team.

During the 9 months of his voluntary exile, Mr. Thaksin’s former political party – Thai Rak Thai (“Thais Love Thais”), has been tried for electoral fraud, convicted, and dissolved. All TRT party members are banned from practicing politics in Thailand for the next 5 years. This ruling will also extend to Mr. Thaksin, although he is yet to face the Thai court.

Thaksin was ousted in a September 2006 military coup while he was visiting New York for a UN conference. The reasons given for the coup include accusations of corruption and abuse of powers by Thaksin’s government. Two of the allegations against Thaksin, who is also a billionaire businessman, include the violation of stock-holding laws and concealment of his true assets. Over $1.5 billion of his financial assets in Thailand have been frozen since the investigation began.

According to his lawyer, Thaksin is unlikely to return to Thailand while the appointed military government is in control, because he is unlikely to get a fair trial.

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