Coup-ousted Thai PM's wife gets jail term for tax evasion

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Bangkok, Jul 31 (UNI) In the first of a series of expected corruption indictments against Thailand's former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra ousted by the military two years ago, his wife was today sentenced to three years in jail for tax evasion.

Thailand's Criminal Court announced Pojaman Shinawatra guilty of evading taxes worth more than half a billion baht (about 22 million dollars) in a major transfer of family business shares.

Today's verdict was in one of several court cases filed against the former prime minister and his family members by an anti-corruption panel set up after the September 19, 2006 military takeover.

Mr Thaksin's brother-in-law and his wife's secretary were also given three and two-year jail terms respectively by the criminal court.

The three were later released on personal bail of five million baht each.

Hundreds of supporters of Mr Thaksin crowded around the heavily guarded court premises.

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