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By ESPN Staff

Arrest warrant issued for City owner Shinawatra

Thailand's Supreme Court has issued an arrest warrant for Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra.

The former Thai Prime Minister, who has been living in self-imposed exile in England, took over City in the summer and installed ex-England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager.

The Thai attorney general issued the warrant for Thaksin and his wife Pojamarn, in connection with corruption charges over a controversial land purchase deal in Bangkok.

The first hearing on the case started today and the defendants' lawyers asked for the hearing to be indefinitely delayed on grounds that Thaksin and his wife felt it was unsafe for them to travel to Thailand.

A spokesman for Thaksin claimed the move was politically-motivated.

He said: 'No doubt this latest publicity stunt by the military government has nothing to do with the referendum on the constitution taking place later this week.'

Thaksin issued a statement which said: 'I am aware of the decision in Thailand. I shall consult with my legal advisers and make an announcement in due course.'