Thai court rules against Thaksin
I'm sure MsExPat will have more to say about this, but for now I'd just like to get the news out there. BBC:
Thailand's Supreme Court has ruled that former PM Thaksin Shinawatra's family should be stripped of more than half a contested $2.3bn fortune.
The court said $1.4bn (£910m) of the assets were gained illegally through conflict of interest when Mr Thaksin was prime minister.
The funds were frozen after Mr Thaksin's elected government was overthrown in a military coup in 2006.
Mr Thaksin, who is living abroad, has denied any wrongdoing.
The Supreme Court said "to seize all the money would be unfair since some of it was made before Thaksin became prime minister".
BBC's stringer says this splt-the-difference verdict won't solve the Thai elite's legitimacy problems:
By choosing to confiscate some, but not all of Mr Thaksin's known assets, the court has managed to dampen arguments from his "red shirt" supporters that the entire judiciary is suborned to a military-bureaucratic elite which intends to finish off Mr Thaksin once and for all.
But it will also weaken the government's demonisation of Mr Thaksin. It appears to be saying that the former prime minister did cheat on the hiding and increase of his fortune, but he was significantly and legitimately wealthy when he entered office. He remains a rich man by any standards.
What this verdict will not do is heal the divisions in this country, polarised by Mr Thaksin's hugely popular appeal and the threat this poses to the military-bureaucratic elite. The 2006 coup that deposed him continues to damage the legitimacy of the current military-backed government of Abhisit Vejajjiva - this basic issue also goes well beyond one man and his money.
Fine word, "legitimacy".... (Though, again, it's tempting and almost always wrong to view Thailand through our own polarized lenses -- MsExPat will have real analysis, knowing the ground better.)