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Thailand Charges Ousted Premier Thaksin

Thai prosecutors filed corruption charges against ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in the Supreme Court on Thursday, in the first formal charges lodged against the exiled former premier.

Thaksin, who has lived in exile overseas since his government was toppled in a military coup last September, was named along with his wife, Pojamarn, in a case involving allegations of wrongdoing in a land deal.

The attorney general's office also recommended that officials seize the 13-acre plot of land in central Bangkok, valued at $23.7 million.

The Supreme Court said they would decide on July 10 if they will hear the case.

They were the first formal criminal charges against Thaksin since he was accused of corruption and ousted by military leaders in a bloodless coup on Sept. 19 while he was in New York, and the first time that a former premier was formally charged in court.

"In the charges against the suspect (Thaksin), the state authority charges him with abuse of power in that he acted for personal gain, and violated anti-corruption laws," prosecutor Seksan Bangsomboon said.

The charges also include conflict of interest and dereliction of duty for personal gain, Seksan said.

A business deal by Thaksin's family -- the $1.9 billion sale last year of telecommunications company Shin Corp. to a Singapore state investment company -- contributed to the public discontent.

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