By Paul Watson,
August 12, 2008
In a statement read on Thai television, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said from
"What happened to me and my family and my close relations resulted from efforts to get rid of me from politics," Thaksin said. "These are my political enemies. They don't care about the rule of law, facts or internationally recognized due process."
A Thai court allowed Thaksin and his wife to attend the opening of the Olympic Games in
A statement from the court said it would confiscate bail totaling more than $385,000 that was posted by the billionaire and his wife, Potjaman Shinawatra. The court also issued warrants for their arrest.
Thaksin's wife had returned from self-exile in
In separate cases, he faces corruption charges stemming from alleged irregularities in a state-run lottery created to fund education, and in a $120-million loan to neighboring
For the moment, Thaksin's departure is expected to defuse political tensions that had mounted as the government, widely seen as his proxy, faced down opposition protesters.
Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, a Thaksin ally and popular television chef elected in January after the ruling junta kept a promise to restore democracy, is accused by opponents of mismanaging the economy and a Muslim insurgency in the south.
Thaksin said in his statement Monday that his life was at risk in
"I receive information and hints about attempts to assassinate me all the time," he said.
Thaksin apologized to the court and fellow Thais and left open the possibility that he might again try to return to his homeland.
"If I am fortunate enough," he said, "I will return and die on Thai soil, just like other Thais."