Former Thai PM Sentenced to 5 Years in Absentia

Thai court sentences ex-PM Yingluck in absentia to 5 years in jail

The scheme hit Thailand's rice exports, leading to an estimated loss the military government says was at least $8bn.

According to reports, Yingluck is in Dubai, where her brother Thaksin Shinawatra, also a former Prime Minister, lives in exile to avoid corruption charges.

Yingluck had failed to appear before the court on 25 August at which the verdict initially was to have been delivered.

"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.

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.

Yingluck's administration took the idea much further.

In a separate case, the military junta demanded Yingluck pay back some of the damages - worth $1.1 billion - and last month froze her bank accounts.

The court said that although Shinawatra herself did not profit from it, she did not stop the corruption happening under her watch.

- Sentences her to five years in jail.

Commenting on Yingluck's whereabout, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said Yesterday he has information about her whereabout but would not disclose until after the verdict is read today.

Shinawatra, who pleaded not guilty to the charges that carried a 10-year maximum, is believed to have fled the country.

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