Thaksin admits weak defense against graft charges

BANGKOK (AFP): Embattled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra admitted Thursday that his lawyers had mounted a lacklustre defense against graft charges that threaten to end his political career. Thaksin said he would not sack his legal team despite its poor showing in the Constitutional Court which this week opened a hearing into the indictment handed down by the nation’s anti-corruption body. “My lawyers will have to find a new strategy, that’s all,” he told reporters. Weary judges had to urge the prime minister’s chief lawyer, Suthee Damnuedee, to be more concise as he unleashed a barrage of questions at his opponent, Klanarong Chanthick, secretary general of the National Counter Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) yesterday. The defence team’s weakness added to jitters in the Thai stock market. Dealers said that sentiment weakened as it became clear Thaksin’s lawyers had no convincing defence against charges that their client deliberately concealed 100 million dollars worth of his assets in a declaration lodged in 1997. Thaksin said he is determined not to be distracted by the case. “I will devote myself to the work of the country. I don’t worry about my future,” he said. The premier declined to say whether he had picked a successor in the event the Constitutional Court upheld the NCCC’s indictment and banished him from office.

Phuket News
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