Ousted Thai PM Yingluck sentenced in absentia to 5 years

Today (Wednesday), the Thai Supreme Court unanimously sentenced the country's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to 5 years in jail.

The military seized power from Yingluck's government in a May 2014 coup citing the need to restore order and normalcy.

The search by the authorities for former premier Yingluck Shinawatra remains an ongoing investigative process, according to National Security Council's (NSC) Secretary-General Thawip Netniyom.

Yingluck's downfall revolved around a scheme that saw her government purchase rice from farmers at almost twice the market price. "I have spies", he said, adding that to his knowledge Ms Yingluck has not sought asylum overseas.

She took office in 2011. "Therefore, the action of the accused is considered negligence of duty". The final verdict including the five-year sentence was read at about 3pm.

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50-year-old Shinawatra was found guilty of causing losses to the state amounting to €6.8 billion by issuing subsidies for growing rice.

That was far fewer than on Aug 25, when the court was originally scheduled to deliver its verdict, only to find out that Yingluck had fled the country.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters before the verdict that he knew where Yingluck was but would not give more details.

It has been speculated that she is in exile in Dubai with her brother, also a former prime minister, but she has not made any public statements since fleeing.


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