HOUSTON, June 12 /PRNewswire/ --
- Statement from Michael Goldberg; Chair of the International Dispute Resolution Section at Baker Botts LLP
The seizure of Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra's assets by a committee appointed by the coup leaders represents a major escalation in the Thai military junta's willingness to trample internationally accepted norms of due process and rule of law.
The junta's action evinces a willingness to continue its one-track political vendetta against our client, Dr. Thaksin, even though he has repeatedly emphasized his willingness to assist in the reconciliation process that is critical to Thailand's return to democracy and stability. Dr. Thaksin has committed himself publicly and unconditionally on numerous occasions to remain out of Thailand's politics. Most recently, Dr. Thaksin called on members of his former Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party to abide by the decision of Thailand's highest court to dissolve the party. Dr. Thaksin on his own accord followed up those calls for calm with a commitment that he would not provide any financial support for political activities by former members of TRT or other political parties.
Despite all of Dr. Thaksin's efforts, the junta is committed to finding means to circumvent any rule of law to persecute Dr. Thaksin, his family, his friends and his business activities. The junta's attacks on Dr. Thaksin amount to an arbitrary interference with his privacy and his family, his private property, his business interests as well as his honour and reputation which is abhorrent to principles of international justice.
It should also not be overlooked that, since overthrowing Thailand's civilian government and abrogating Thailand's 1997 constitution, the coup leaders have continually resorted to the most outrageous accusations against Dr. Thaksin: in January 2007, hours after a series of bombings rocked Bangkok, before any investigation could begin, the military accused Dr. Thaksin of ordering the attacks. After days of being called to task for these accusations, the coup leaders backed down from their accusations and affirmed that there was no evidence of Dr. Thaksin's involvement.
The international community should by now be no stranger to the modus operandi of Thailand's coup leaders. Whether it is threats to penalize outsiders by blocking their investments in Thailand, the censorship of CNN broadcasts and thousands of political websites and other political speech, or the reported threats to blackmail governments and companies to give up their intellectual property rights, the military junta has little regard for the norms and rules that are broadly accepted by the international community. The junta's decision to escalate its persecution of Dr. Thaksin has set back efforts to progress Thailand back to civilian rule and democracy. It has also sent a powerful reminder to all that Thailand remains in the grip of military rule that is divorced from the rule of law.
We have been authorized by Dr. Thaksin to vigorously evaluate all international options to protect his rights and interests.
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