Thailand: Former PM sentenced to five years in jail

Thailand's Supreme Court convicted former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of negligence in a rice subsidy case, sentencing her in absentia to five years in jail

27 September 2017, 2:11pm
Former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra greets supporters as she arrives at the Supreme Court (Photo: the Japan Times)
Former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra greets supporters as she arrives at the Supreme Court (Photo: the Japan Times)
"The court found that the defendant is guilty as charged...the court has sentenced her to five years in prison and the court also unanimously agreed that the sentence will not be suspended," the judge said.

The Supreme Court ruling was supposed to be read on 25 August, but Yingluck, 50, failed to attend the hearings, stunning thousands of supporters, who had gathered outside.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters before the verdict that he knew where Yingluck was but would not give more details.

Ousted back in 2014, weeks before a military coup, and later impeached, Yingluck denied all charges and fled before the verdict, reportedly to Dubai.

Former PM faces up to a decade in jail for negligence over a scheme, which pumped cash into her family’s rural base in the northeast. According to authorities, this caused the country $8 billion, in financial losses.