Ousted Thai PM Yingluck sentenced in absentia to 5 years for negligence

Thursday, 28 Sep, 2017

Shinawatra, the first female prime minister of the country, fled Thailand last month after being convicted in a rice subsidy scheme, which cost the country billions of dollars.

In the scheme, Yingluck's government paid Thai rice farmers inflated prices for their crops, driving up global rice prices. Reuters reported she fled to Dubai where her brother Thaksin lives in self-imposed exile. When Ms Yingluck surprisingly failed to show up in court, the verdict was postponed and an arrest warrant was issued for her.

Today, former Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra was sentenced to 5 years in jail.

After a trial lasting more than two years, a Bangkok court has found her guilty of dereliction of duty, and handed down a five-year jail term.

Analysts say Yingluck likely cut a deal with the military leaders, who are bent on erasing her powerful clan from the political scene. The final verdict including the five-year sentence was read at about 3pm.

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Her lawyer said she was ill with an ear problem and could not appear in court.

She took office in 2011. They believe his popular appeal, earned by populist policies benefiting the less well-off rural majority, threatened the traditional ruling class' privilege.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University, said the Puea Thai Party was now "rudderless".

"The bottom line is that the Shinawatras have corruption problems and their elected governments are flawed but their unintended legacy of helping and connecting with the masses will need to be openly adopted by their opponents if Thailand is to move on".

The ruling had initially been scheduled for August 25 but was postponed after Yingluck failed to attend. The military seized power.