Published: Thu, September 28, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Thailand: Former PM sentenced to five years in jail

Thailand: Former PM sentenced to five years in jail

Thailand's former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was sentenced in absentia today to five years in prison for criminal negligence in a trial brought by the junta that overthrew her.

The fugitive politician was convicted of negligence in preventing corruption and irregularities in her government's rice-pledging scheme prior to the 2014 coup.

Yingluck had pleaded innocent and had accused the military government of political persecution.

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

The Supreme Court ruling was supposed to be read on 25 August, but Yingluck, 50, failed to attend the hearings, stunning thousands of supporters, who had gathered outside.

Yingluck's downfall revolved around a scheme that saw her government purchase rice from farmers at almost twice the market price.

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

She took office in 2011.

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.

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said yesterday he would reveal Yingluck's whereabouts once the verdict was announced, The Bangkok Post reported.

According to reports, Yingluck is in Dubai, where her brother Thaksin Shinawatra, also a former Prime Minister, lives in exile to avoid corruption charges. The military seized power.

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