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

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

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

Thailand's Supreme Court has convicted former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in absentia and sentenced her to five years in prison.

"The defendant was found guilty of the alleged offences under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and Section 123/1 of the Organic Act on Counter Corruption 1999 and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment", a statement from the court read.

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

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"Yingluck and Thaksin were the only prime ministers in Thailand that cared about the poor people, the army and the (opposition party) Democrats only care about themselves", he said. Now that her sentence has been announced, a new warrant is being issued for her arrest, according to Thailand's The Nation. "I have spies", he said, adding that to his knowledge Ms Yingluck has not sought asylum overseas. Authorities say the programme caused the country $8bn (£5.97bn) in financial losses, Al Jazeera reports.

Former PM faces up to a decade in jail for negligence over a scheme, which pumped cash into her family's rural base in the northeast.

Her brother also led an elected government that was ousted by the military and lives in exile to avoid a jail term on corruption charges.

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After attending dozens of hearings in a trial that lasted more than one year, Yingluck failed to turn up for a ruling originally scheduled for August 25 - a day of high drama that left the kingdom dumbfounded.

Commenting on Yingluck's whereabout, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said Yesterday he has information about her whereabout but would not disclose until after the verdict is read today.
The military seized power.

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