Last updated : 12 June 2007 By editor

The BBC reports:

'Bank accounts belonging to Thailand's billionaire former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, have been frozen, the government has announced. A committee investigating claims of corruption during Mr Thaksin's era said it had ordered accounts worth 52.9bn baht ($1.63bn, £830m) to be frozen.

'Thailand's military ousted Mr Thaksin in September 2006, accusing him of corruption and abuse of power. He was out of the country at the time and now lives in exile in London. Last month, his Thai Rak Thai party was ordered to be dissolved and he was banned from politics for five years.'

The Times spoke with Thaksin's lawyer who told them, "Of course this is going to affect the Manchester City bid, but it is not off. Some things may have to be restructured."

Meanwhile City's board has released this statement. "The board notes the information emanating out of Thailand today in respect of Dr Shinawatra and the freezing of his assets. The board and its advisers are in discussion with Dr Shinawatra's advisers to confirm the implications of these developments in respect of their client's interest in potentially making an offer for the company. These discussions and those between the company and other interested parties may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company."