Ex-Thai PM sentenced to 5 years in prison

Frederick Owens
September 28, 2017

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously to sentence fugitive former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to five years in prison.

Yingluck Shinawatra, whose government was toppled by a coup in 2014, missed a verdict in her negligence trial last month.

Three police officers allegedly helped Yingluck flee, and the military relaxed its close monitoring of the controversial figure days before the August 25 verdict was due.

Yingluck became prime minister in 2011. When Ms Yingluck surprisingly failed to show up in court, the verdict was postponed and an arrest warrant was issued for her.

It was further added, "Which is a manner of seeking unlawful gains".

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One Pheu Thai leading member said they have met and agreed not to come to court today as she is absent.

Yingluck's administration took the idea much further.

Her negligence incurred up to 500 billion baht loss to the state and also damaged the country's rice trading market. In September 2017, she was sentenced, in absentia, to five years in jail. Reuters reported she fled to Dubai where her brother Thaksin lives in self-imposed exile.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters before the verdict that he knew where Yingluck was but would not give more details. Even if a poll is eventually held, it will be organised under a new junta-drafted charter that significantly curbs the power of elected politicians and enshrines the military's oversight of any future government for the next 20 years.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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