The Supreme Court in Thailand has ruled that more than half of the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's frozen assets of $2.3 billion could be taken away from him by the government.

Thaksin, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006, will have to hand over $1.4 billion.

Following an eight-hour judgement, the court found Thaksin guilty on five counts of corruption.

Thai judges said Mr Thaksin abused his power while in office. They added that the former leader had deliberately hidden his wealth and had covered up his ownership of shares in his family-controlled telecommunications company, Shin Corp.

Thaksin himself said the court's decision was 100% political, according to the BBC News.

The former leader was convicted in 2008 over a corrupt land deal and sentenced to two years' jail, but fled the country.

Thaksin now lives in exile in Dubai, but remains hugely popular with Thailand's rural poor.