Thaksin's ex-wife appeals tax evasion conviction

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Friday, November 21, 2008

An appeal has been filed by the former wife of fugitive Thai ex-Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, against her conviction and three year sentence for tax evasion. Potjaman Shinawatra, step-brother Bannapot Damapong, and her secretary Karnchanapa Honghern were previously found guilty of conspiring to evade taxes in a share transfer deal.

Thailand's Criminal Court ruled in July that the transfer of 4.5 million shares in Shin Computer and Communications (Now Shin Corp) was illegally declared as a family gift, and that the three conspired in the transfer arrangement to evade 546 million Baht (US$15 million) in taxes. Potjaman and her brother Bannapot were sentenced to three years each; her secretary Karnchanapa was sentenced to two years.

The 130 page writ of appeal was filed today, citing ten points where the prosecution is contested. The court had ruled that the disputed transaction did not actually take place in the stock market and there had been collusion to avoid paying the due tax.

Potjaman remains in self-imposed exile, having left Thailand while on bail following the prosecution. Her ex-husband Thaksin Shinawatra is believed to be in Dubai; the couple divorced in Hong Kong last week.

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