The Thai Supreme Court has today found former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra guilty of corruption over a land deal conducted during Thaksin’s time in office. He has been sentenced to two years in prison. This is the first of a series of charges faced by Thaksin who is currently in exile in the United Kingdom. In the same case Thaksin’s wife, Potjaman Shinawatra, has been acquitted. However, Potjaman has already been found guilty in another case and potentially faces a three year jail term.
Today’s guilty verdict was met with cheers and applause by the anti-government PAD protesters who have been camped in the grounds of Government House in Bangkok for the past few months. They were delighted to hear the guilty verdict against a man who has been the focus of so much of their anger. The protesters will be feeling vindicated, but they also know that the Thaksin issue will drag on for some time yet. Prosecution and defence lawyers are in for a busy time with more court cases, appeals and wrangling over an extradition agreement likely to keep them occupied in the coming months.