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Thaksin's wife pleads not guilty

  • Story Highlights
  • The wife of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin pleads not guilty to corruption
  • Pojamarn Shinawatra faces charges related to a Bangkok land deal
  • She also faces charges over an alleged stock concealment plan
  • The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years' jail
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BANGKOK (CNN) -- The wife of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra pleaded not guilty to corruption charges Wednesday during a brief first hearing before the Supreme Court.

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Pojamarn Shinawatra arrives at the Supreme Court in Bangkok on Wednesday.

Pojamarn Shinawatra and her legal team requested more time to prepare their case and were given until April 28. She was accompanied into the court room by her son, daughter and sister-in-law.

Pojamarn faces charges stemming from a Bangkok land deal and an alleged stock concealment plan that could put her in jail for up to 10 years. In the real estate transaction, she allegedly purchased undeveloped land for about a third of its estimated value.

Pojamarn has been free on five million baht (about $168,000) bail since her January 7 hearing and is under orders not to leave the country.

During the 15-minute hearing, Pojamarn said her husband would return to Thailand by May to contest the same charges. Previously, a mid-April return had been anticipated for Thaksin.

He was deposed by a military junta in September 2006 and fled to London. He plans to return after Thailand's new government is in place.

In December's parliamentary elections, allies of Thaksin, the People Power Party, won nearly half the seats in the lower house and will likely lead the ruling coalition.

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PPP leader Samak Sundaravej said a new parliament controlled by his party would pass an amnesty law to allow Thaksin's return and amend the constitution to let Thaksin get back into politics. A PPP-led government has not yet been formed.

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Thaksin has said he would not re-enter politics when he comes home. He said that he and his family had "suffered enough" but that he wanted to face the charges against him and prove his innocence.

Thaksin is a 58-year-old telecommunications tycoon who owns the English Premier League Manchester City Football Club. Thaksin's party won two landslide victories before he was deposed. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Dan Rivers contributed to this story.

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