Thai court issues further arrest warrant for Thaksin

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The Independent Online

The Manchester City owner, Thaksin Shinawatra, yesterday had a second set of arrest warrants issued against him in his native Thailand. The former Thai prime minister and his wife are the subject of a police inquiry into the couple's alleged violation of stock-trading laws.

Last month saw the country's Supreme Court issue a first warrant after the pair failed to return home to answer corruption charges relating to a land sale. Thaksin is accused of abusing his position by helping his wife buy land from a state agency at a favourable price.

The Department of Special Investigations have also been looking into allegations that Thaksinand his wife Pojaman concealed their assets in a firm, SC Assets Co Ltd. The DSI said a second warrant had been sought as the couple had failed to appear in Bangkok to hear the charges.

Thaksin has not returned to Thailand since he was deposed as premier a year ago. He and his family have denied all allegations, and claims the charges are politically motivated.

Elsewhere, the Arsenal Supporters' Trust have been given assurances by Danny Fiszman over his long-term future at the club following the emergence of Alisher Usmanov in the battle for power at the Emirates Stadium.

Usmanov is joint-owner of Red and White Holdings, and the Trust have requested a meeting with the Russian. Red and White have said they currently have no plans to make a takeover offer, but they will look to increase their shares after buying David Dein's 14.58 per cent stake last week. Dein, formerly the Gunners' vice-chairman, is now chairman of Red and White.

Usmanov said in the Moscow Times: "Regardless of the size of my stake, I am ready to play an active role in the life of the club."

Should Red and White or anybody else eventually look to launch a takeover, Fiszman's 24.1 per cent stake is seen as the key. The club's largest shareholder has previously stated that he would not sell before April 2008 and he has given indications that he wants to stay beyond that date.

Trust chief Tim Payton said: "The Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) welcomed Danny Fiszman's reassurances that he intends to continue with Arsenal."

He added: "We would like to meet Usmanov and we will remind him of the responsibility his position now holds. Arsenal is about its history and its supporters. Any action by him must recognise this."

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