Thailand's ex-PM Yingluck sentenced in absentia to 5 years

Glen Mclaughlin
Сентября 28, 2017

Yingluck's administration was toppled in a 2014 coup and she was later put on trial for negligence over her government's rice subsidy scheme, which is said to have cost billions of dollars.

The Supreme Court initially scheduled the reading of the sentencing for August 25th but the accused former Prime Minister failed to turn up in court.

She was also impeached for the same charges, and not allowed to participate in Thai politics for five years.

A former commerce minister in her government was jailed for 42 years last month for falsifying government-to-government rice deals in connection with the subsidy scheme.

Part of Ms Yingluck's election campaign, it was launched after she took office in 2011.

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Shinawatra, who pleaded not guilty to the charges that carried a 10-year maximum, is believed to have fled the country.

Her lawyer said she was ill with an ear problem and could not appear in court. Most of the attendees were reporters and Pheu Thai Party staff members. There lives her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who also headed the government of Thailand, and then fled overseas because of allegations of abuse of power.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, an award-winning columnist writing in the Bangkok Post and numerous foreign publications, is an associate professor at Chulalongkorn University's faculty of political science, and director of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). None of the photos features Yingluck.

Ahead of the verdict on Wednesday, he said Yingluck was now in foreign country but declined to elaborate which one.

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