Arrest Threat As Yingluck Shinawatra Misses Verdict

Aug 26, 2017, 01:19
Arrest Threat As Yingluck Shinawatra Misses Verdict

"We think that the defendant is hiding or has fled", said a statement from a Supreme Court.

Asked if it was possible she fled via a natural land border, Rangsibhramakul would only say: "That is possible". Her diehard fans were willing to defy the junta by rallying to show their support for her on Friday.

The Supreme Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Yingluck. "I was told this morning that she was ill, that she had vertigo, that she felt dizzy, so I requested the postponement. that's all I have to say". One year later, she was impeached by the military-appointed legislature over the controversial rice scheme, which saw the government paying farmers almost twice the market rate for their crop.

Shinawatra faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty in a rice subsidy scheme case.

The junta said it would mobilise more than 4,000 police and army officers to surround the court and warned against mass demonstrations.

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During her trial, Yingluck repeatedly said she would not take flight.

"What?" said a 75-year-0ld woman when told the court considered Yingluck to be a fugitive.

Yingluck and her aides previously told the media she would not flee. "She could be at any hospital. she could be ill".

Thousands of supporters-outnumbered by security forces-waited from dawn for a glimpse of Thailand's first female prime minister, but she did not show, with a senior party source telling Agence France-Presse she is "likely in Singapore".

Yingluck Shinawatra was Prime Minister of Thailand from August 2011 to May 2014, when she was removed from office amid an abuse of power scandal.

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Her weakness was her elder brother Thaksin, whose deep networks hoisted her to power despite his long absence from Thailand.

Thaksin, who has lived in Dubai since fleeing a corruption conviction he says was politically motivated, has avoided commenting on his sister's case.

Yingluck's Pheu Thai derived its popularity from the populist policies launched by Thaksin in 2001 with his previous political vehicle, the Thai Rak Thai party.

Farmers did make more money, but critics say the subsidies led to billions of dollars in losses for Thailand, along with huge stockpiles of unsold rice. Millions of tonnes of rice worth over US$10 billion sat idle in government warehouses.

When Yingluck's government proposed an amnesty in 2013 that could have absolved her brother and allowed him to return without being arrested, street protests erupted that eventually led to her government's demise in the 2014 coup. The former leader, whose family is on one side of a decade-old struggle, has said she is the victim of "a subtle political game".

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Since Thaksin's five year prime ministership, the country's political landscape has been split into the red shirts - Thaksin government supporters; and yellow shirts - royalist, nationalist and urban middle class protesters who adopted the colour associated with the revered Thai king to protest Thaksin's alleged corruption.

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