BANGKOK - Fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra denied Wednesday that a controversial amnesty bill pushed by his allies was for his personal benefit, accusing political opponents of “distortions and lies”.
There have been daily protests in Bangkok since the politically charged legislation was approved by the lower house last week, raising fears among Thaksin’s foes that he could return from self-imposed exile.
“It has been distorted that the amnesty will return my money to me and whitewash only one person, even though the objective is to make the country move past conflicts and give justice to the victims of the 2006 coup,” Thaksin said in a statement released by his legal adviser.
“As I was once the prime minister I respect the different opinions of Thai people but I cannot accept the distortions and lies that my family and I have been subjected to for several years,” Thaksin said.
Seven years after he was ousted by royalist generals, Thaksin remains a hugely divisive figure in Thailand.
The former telecoms tycoon lives in Dubai to avoid prison for a corruption conviction imposed in his absence in 2008 that he contends was politically motivated. - AFP