Thai court finds Yingluck guilty, hands down 5-year jail sentence

Sep 28, 2017, 00:12
Thai court finds Yingluck guilty, hands down 5-year jail sentence

Whether Yingluck is found guilty and sentenced to up to ten years in prison, found guilty and given a suspended sentence, or even acquitted, the conduct of Thai political life will never be quite the same again. She may not serve any prison time, though, as she is believed to have fled the country.

The younger sister of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted from office in May 2014. The court then seized her 30-million baht bail and issued her arrest warrant.

The grounds of the ruling was that Yingluck had given an interview in which she said trades had been conducted between governments.

Yingluck's administration took the idea much further.

"Which is a manner of seeking unlawful gains".

The Shinawatras had commanded huge support by courting rural voters, helping them to win every general election since 2001, but their foes accused them of corruption and nepotism. She had been on trial for negligence in overseeing a rice-pledging scheme that went bad.

Her Puea Thai Party has said it does not know where she is.

The ruling had initially been scheduled for August 25 but was postponed after Yingluck failed to attend. Last month, Reuters reported that she had escaped to Dubai, where her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, owns a home.

On the eve of the verdict junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha declared his "spies" had informed him of Yingluck's whereabouts, but said he would not reveal her location until after the judgement was delivered.