Prosecutors drop charges against former secretary of Khunying Potjaman in KTB case
In an about-face, the public prosecutors have decided not to pursue money laundering charges against the former secretary of Khunying Potjaman Na Pombejra, the ex-wife of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and her husband in connection with the 9 billion baht loan granted by the state-run Krung Thai Bank to the Krisda Mahanakorn real estate company.
On July 30th last year, former secretary Kanchanapa Honghern and her husband lodged a complaint with the prosecutors seeking justice over the money laundering charges. Both are living in exile abroad
Spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General, Itthiporn Kaewthip, told the media today that the Office of special prosecutors for special cases decided to consider their plea because it represents a “new fact,” adding that the prosecutors found no oral evidence or facts to prove their involvement in the loan scandal.
The prosecutors’ ruling and case file will be submitted to the director-general of the Department of Special Investigation for consideration.
Itthiporn said that the case will be finalized if the DSI chief agrees with the prosecutors’ decision. If not, the case will be sent to the attorney-general who will have the final say.
The controversial loan between KTB and Krisda Mahanakorn dates back to the time when Thaksin was prime minister of Thailand more than a decade ago. It was alleged that KTB granted the loan to the real estate firm despite being a non-performing debtor to the bank.
In 2015, former KTB president Viroj Nualkhair and former bank chairman Suchai Jaovisidha were sentenced to 18 years in prison for malfeasance in office by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions. 22 other people were also found guilty, but the court did not make a ruling on Thaksin, the first defendant in the case, pending his return to Thailand from his self-imposed exile.
In 2019, Thaksin’s only son, Panthongtae, was acquitted of money laundering charges by the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, in connection with a 10-million baht cheque he received from a friend involved in the controversial KTB loan deal with Krisda Mahanakorn.