Thammawattana siblings settle cases

The Thammawattana siblings have agreed to settle 48 lawsuits among themselves, 14 years after the death of their eldest brother in one of Thailand's most complicated crimes.

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The Criminal Court on Tuesday asked them to settle the case in which Vikrom Thammawattana accused Khanuengnit Thammawattana, Naruemol Mangkornpanich and Narin Wongthai of perjury.

On May 3, 2012 Ms Khanuengnit and others perjured themselves, leading the court to prohibit Mr Vikrom from using the disputed stock of Suwapee Thammawattana Co Ltd to vote at a shareholders' meeting, causing Mr Vikrom damages.

At the court on Tuesday, Parinya Thammawattana and Mrs Naruemol, together with their siblings, talked for 90 minutes before reaching a settlement to withdraw all lawsuits.

"We thank the court for advising us to settle the cases. After our brother Hangthong died, the family was mired in 48 civil and criminal cases including those involving Noppadol [who had been accused of killing Hangthong]. All have been settled today," said Mr Parinya.

"We agreed to sell all shares and businesses to Mrs Naruemol, who will continue to manage them. This marks the end of our courtroom fight which dragged on for 14 years. I'd rather not reveal the value of the sale. What's important is the family is now peaceful again.

Bangkok MP Hangthong Thammawattana was found dead on Sept 5, 1999, with a bullet wound to the head in Mr Noppadol's room in the family mansion on Phahon Yothin Road. His body was autopsied three times in a series of forensic challenges before the Appeal Court ruled he had not been murdered.

At stake are the family's assets worth tens of billions of baht of which crown jewel are the 59-year-old Ying Charoen fresh market in Bangkok's Bang Khen district and a land bank in Don Muang, Pathum Thani and Chachoengsao amassed by their mother who built the empire from scratch.

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