Former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra has fled abroad ahead of a verdict in her trial over a rice subsidy scheme on Friday, according to BBC
Yingluck, 50, whose family has dominated Thai politics for more than 15 years, failed to show up at court for judgment in a case centred on the multi-billion dollar losses incurred by a rice subsidy scheme for farmers.
Her lawyers told the court she had been unable to attend because she was ill.
But when she failed to appear, the court issued an arrest warrant for her and confiscated her bail.
Judges also postponed the verdict until 27 September.
Overthrown in 2014, Yingluck had faced up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. Her former commerce minister was jailed in a related case for 42 years today.
Yingluck’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who heads the political clan, was overthrown in a 2006 coup and fled into exile to escape a corruption conviction that he said was aimed at demolishing the populist movement he founded.
The struggle between that movement and a Bangkok-centered royalist and pro-military elite has been at the heart of years of turmoil in Thailand. The verdict against Yingluck could have reignited tension, though the army has largely snuffed out open opposition.
Published: 2017-08-25 20:44:38