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    Saxena trial hears first witness

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    WTF

    Posts : 163
    Join date : 2010-08-06
    Location : Thailand

    Saxena trial hears first witness

    Post by WTF on 25th August 2010, 11:08 am

    Central bank auditor provides testimony

    BKK Post

    Rakesh Saxena, the former adviser to the collapsed Bangkok Bank of Commerce who is being tried on loan fraud charges, says he knows banking better than anyone and that will help him in his defence.

    Theformer adviser to the collapsedBangkok Bank of Commerce, Rakesh Saxena, arrives at Bangkok South Criminal Court yesterday for the first round of witness examinations in a case in which he has been charged with embezzling 16billion baht from the bank. APICHART JINAKUL

    Three judges in Bangkok South Criminal Court yesterday heard the first witness in the trial, Bank of Thailand auditor Yanyong Likhitcharoen, who gave evidence on a case involving BBC loans worth 1.6 billion baht to City Trading Co in 1995.

    Mr Saxena is acting as his own defence counsel with the assistance of two lawyers. Mr Saxena arrived at the court in a wheelchair and in prison uniform to hear and cross-examine the prosecution's first witness.

    He said he had been sleeping well and remained relatively healthy even though he expected the first of the five cases against him to take at least a year. "I always have peace of mind. Innocent people sleep well; no nightmares," he said during an interval in the trial.

    He spoke about life in Bangkok Remand Prison where he is being held after extradition from Canada in October last year which ended a 13-year effort to have him stand trial on charges connected to the worst banking disaster in Thailand's history.

    The 57-year-old Indian-born financier, who appeared in an upbeat mood, said he has been isolated from the outside world, including friends, family and news reports. "My life [now] is boring and is not as attractive as that of Thaksin [Shinawatra, the former prime minister]," he said. "I've got no chance [to read newspapers]. So, I'm writing poetry."

    Mr Saxena brought to the court piles of documents in a cloth bag that he said he had prepared himself based on his expertise in banking. He has only two lawyers working with him but they will provide a vital support role throughout the first hearing as Mr Saxena is cross-examining the witness himself through an interpreter.

    He stressed his banking expertise would help in proving his innocence. "I am the best, you know. I know the [banking] business very well."

    Public prosecutors have charged Mr Saxena with violating five sections of the Securities and Exchange Act (SEA) from March 1992 to July 1995 when he was an adviser to then BBC president Krirkkiat Jalichandra. He is accused of colluding with Mr Krirkkiat and others to embezzle money by approving improper loans to City Trading Co, a non-operational firm to which his sister-in-law was a director.

    Mr Yanyong, who audited BBC accounts during those years, told the judges each of the loan amounts exceeded the Bank of Thailand's 30 million baht approval ceiling. None was submitted for approval. Collateral for the loans was appraised at about 100 times higher than the market value, he said. Most of the loans have turned into bad assets.

    Hundreds of millions of baht were transferred to Mr Saxena's overseas accounts as well as those belonging to his associates, Mr Yanyong said. Some were used to offset company debts.

    Mr Saxena referred in his cross-examination to hundreds of millions of baht being transferred back to BBC. He also tried to prove that the charges have no legal standing as banks are not licensed for securities trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and thus should not fall under the SEA.

    He questioned whether there should be charges of violation of the Commercial Banking Act prior to linking to offences under the SEA. Public prosecutors insisted the embezzlement charges were subject to the provisions of the SEA as BBC was a listed firm.

    Mr Saxena questioned the sources of funds for the loans, asking whether it was possible the money came from other than customers' deposit accounts. Mr Yanyong did not acknowledge the information.

    Prosecutors said they expect to finish questioning about 100 witnesses by Oct 19, after which Mr Saxena could present his own witnesses.
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    Well now there is the first snake in the grass, who if anybody lend money to this bank to do the alleged monkey business?? I think somehow some people somewhere will be getting nervous Cool

      Current date/time is 24th October 2018, 5:14 am