Thai court issues arrest warrant against Yingluck

China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-26 07:19

BANGKOK - An arrest warrant was issued on Friday for former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra who failed to appear in court on the judgment day of a rice lawsuit filed against her.

The warrant obliges police to locate and detain the former premier so that she can be brought to justice on Sept 27.

The Supreme Court postponed the reading of the verdict for the criminal case against Yingluck until Sept 27 after her lawyer said the former leader was suffering from Meniere's disease and feeling dizzy and thus was unable to attend.

Nevertheless, judges ruled that they do not believe Yingluck's illness as it was certified by any doctor, according to a public prosecutor attached to the Office of Attorney General.

Thai court issues arrest warrant against Yingluck

Yingluck's failure to appear in court prompted the top court to hand out the arrest warrant for her. She faces charges pertaining to the rice subsidy program implemented nationwide years ago.

Some Thai media earlier reported that a car believed to carry Yingluck was seen at the court as her followers were chanting her name to the vehicle and thus it was assumed she was inside, but she did not show up as expected.

Meanwhile, police have not yet confirmed or denied rumors that Yingluck might have secretly fled the country on Wednesday.

But a senior party source of her Puea Thai Party said: "She is definitely no longer here, she is likely in Singapore now", AFP reported.

Yingluck joins her billionaire brother Thaksin in selfimposed exile - a knockout blow to the family and their political ambitions.

The former leader's house in Yothin Pattana area remained quiet with the gate firmly shut early on Friday with a flock of reporters and photographers waiting outside.

Thai court issues arrest warrant against Yingluck


Yingluck, who had earlier maintained that she would fight the legal battle till the end, posted on Facebook on Thursday, calling on her supporters not to travel to the court in Chaeng Wattana area to cheer her up.

Probably be sentenced

Yingluck will probably be sentenced to a certain period in prison if found guilty of the charge that she did not do her duty by failing to call off the rice program which caused state losses.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the news of his predecessor's failing to appear in court surprised him and he had instructed police and other authorities to find her and bring her to justice.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said some government officials may have helped Yingluck if she decided to flee the country and have Friday's court verdict put off until late next month.

In her final statement made in her defense in court, Yingluck maintained that she had never neglected her duty involving the rice subsidy program carried out by her government.

Xinhua - Afp - Reuters

(China Daily 08/26/2017 page8)

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