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Thai Military Government to Take Over Independent TV Station


Thailand's military-installed government says it will take over one of the country's few independent television stations because the station has not paid nearly $3 billion in license fees.

Dhipawadee Meksawan, a minister in the office of Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont told reporters Tuesday ITV will be closed Wednesday. She said broadcasts could resume once legal issues are resolved regarding the station's transition to new ownership.

ITV is controlled by Shin Corp, the former telecommunications company of deposed Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Mr. Thaksin's family sold Shin Corp to the Singapore government's investment company, Temasek, last year in a controversial deal.

The station's ownership came into question after it lost a long-running legal battle against the Thai government over unpaid annual fees of nearly $3 billion.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.