Former Thai PM Sentenced to 5 Years in Absentia

Former Thai PM Sentenced to 5 Years in Absentia

Former Thai PM Sentenced to 5 Years in Absentia

Yingluck Shinawatra was sentenced today to 5 years of jail for negligence in preventing corruption and irregularities in her Pheu Thai government's rice-pledging scheme.

Despite the significance of the case and the verdict to the country, few people showed up at the court yesterday, which was attributed to Yingluck's absence.

A military coup removed Shinawatra from office in 2014.

The court will issue another arrest warrant against Yingluck, after an initial warrant was issued when she failed to appear before the court on August 25, when the verdict was originally scheduled to be read.

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It was further added, "Which is a manner of seeking unlawful gains".

The Supreme Court judges said Ms Yingluck had been aware of the falsified rice deals but did nothing to stop it. "Therefore, the action of the accused is considered negligence of duty".

While there was no suspension of the term, Yingluck was not hit with the maximum sentence of 10 years and a 20,000 baht ($601) fine.

The leader of the military junta, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, said on Tuesday that he knows where Yingluck is but would not reveal it until after the verdict is read. She and her supporters said she was innocent and was persecuted as part of an effort to dismantle the political machine of her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a telecommunications tycoon. The military seized power.

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