First female Thai PM sentenced to 5 years in jail

28 September, 2017, 00:10 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • Thai court sentences ex-PM Yingluck in absentia to 5 years in jail

A Thai court has delivered a guilty verdict to Thailand's former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, holding her personally and criminally responsible for a failed rice subsidy policy.

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.

"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.

Yingluck was due to hear the verdict on August 25, but failed to show up, surprising hundreds of supporters who had gathered at the court.

Yingluck, as head of the National Rice Committee, had established regulations and preventative methods at the programme's outset, the court found.

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While the Shinawatra family has dominated politics, their leadership has repeatedly been knocked down by coups and court rulings backed by elites, triggering repeated protests, Channel News Asia says.

"Which is a manner of seeking unlawful gains".

Authorities said that this caused the country 8 billion dollars in financial losses.

Yingluck had faced up to 10 years in prison for her role in the rice-buying scheme, introduced in 2011, which pledged to pay farmers well above the market rate for their crops. But there are widespread reports she joined her billionaire brother Thaksin, a former prime minister ousted in a 2006 coup, in Dubai. The military seized power.

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