Ex-Thai Prime Minister no-show for verdict raises concern

Just as her elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra fled Thailand in 2008 to escape arrest on corruption and abuse of power charges, news is rife in Thailand about former Thai Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra’s possible escape form of the country.

The Thai Supreme Court in Bangkok, today, has issued an arrest warrant for Ms. Yingluck, after she failed to be present in court with her lawyers, for the hearing of her verdict for the charge of negligence, which could see her going to jail for up to 10 years.

According to her lawyers, Ms. Yingluck’s inability to attend the verdict was due to ill-health.

However, the court rejected the claim and confiscated her bail of 30 million Baht ($900,000), and postponed the verdict to 27 September.

Reacting to the news of Ms. Yingluck’s absence for the verdict, Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha told reporters, “I have ordered border checkpoints to be stepped up.”

Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailands first female Prime Minister, who is barred from leaving Thailand since the commencement of her court hearing in 2015, is alleged to be already out of the country, according to sources.

Yingluck Shinawatra, was elected in May 2011, and was forced to step down after three years, for her role in the abuse of power and corruption charges with the rice-subsidy scheme, which was meant to boost the confidence of Thai rice farmers, and increase yield.

Thaksin Shinawatra, elder brother of Ms. Yingluck, after fleeing the country in 2008, currently lives in a self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates, to avoid a two-year jail term for corruption and abuse of power.

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