Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Thaksin Unfit

Rights group says Thaksin unfit to own Man City

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Ousted Thai Prime Minister and new Manchester City proprietor Thaksin Shinawatra is unfit to own an English football club because of "serious human rights abuses" under his leadership, Human Rights Watch said.

In a July 30 letter to English football chiefs, the New York-based watchdog said numerous extrajudicial executions, abductions and disappearances happened during Thaksin's six years in office, which ended with a military coup in September 2006.

In a response, the English Premier League said it took such allegations very seriously.
However, its "fit and proper" test for club owners only barred people who had been convicted of offences, chief executive Richard Scudamore said.

"You can be assured that we will always operate within the law and will always take into account any evidence as verified by the appropriate legal process," Scudamore said.

The generals who ousted Thaksin cited "rampant corruption" as a primary reason for launching Thailand's 18th coup in 75 years of on-off democracy.

One year later, they have frozen more than $1.5 billion (739 million pounds) of the former telecoms tycoon's assets in Thai bank accounts and Thaksin has been summonsed to Bangkok's Supreme Court this month to hear corruption charges.

However, given the complexities of Thailand's byzantine legal system, a conviction would probably be at least two years away.

What amazes me about this is how everyone seems to have FORGOTTEN that Thaksin took big heat in 2004 for trying to buy a piece of the Liverpool Football Club using Thai Public Funds.

Thailand's Euro Football Investment Fiasco: Thaksin Opts Out

2004-06-16 - Faced with mounting public ire and possible constitutional law suits, Thaksin passes off Thailand’s football investment to private sector Although it may not make the “top 10” for news value, it may well be the quirkiest business story coming out of Asia for 2004. That is the saga of Thailand’s Prime Minister Thaksin and his quixotic quest to buy a share of English football team, Liverpool. Imagine Tony Blair wanting the United Kingdom to buy into the New York Yankees!

The latest news is that a group of ten Thai investors will proceed with negotiations to but a 30 percent stake in Liverpool and thus, Thaksin and the Thai government have been removed from the deal.

The reason is that the Thai man-in-the-street didn’t like the proposed deal and some of the country’s leading legal and constitutional authorities questioned the legality of the Liverpool deal, including some who Thaksin considers friends.

Torpedoing the deal was Thaksin’s plan to use a public lottery to pay for the Liverpool shares. This infuriated the public because Thaksin is a wealthy telecommunications billionaire and most wondered why he didn’t use his own money to push through the deal, rather than money from the public. Thaksin has still not answered that question.

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