Former Prime Minister-turned-fugitive Yingluck Shinawatra was spotted, on a London high street on January 4, for the first time since she fled Thailand prior to the reading of her verdict. Yingluck was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison for mishandling a rice subsidy scheme which allegedly cost Thailand at least $8bn. Her recent appearance in public immediately lifted morale among some of the red shirts in Thailand.
A post-Yingluck Shinawatra Thailand is not a reconciled Thailand, and nor will it be if her Pheu Thai Party ceases to exist. The political arena will remain as polarised as it has been for the past decade. Yet this predicament can be overcome through a strategy laid out in the well-known Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Longzhong Plan. The plan was to divide China into three realms of roughly equal power. Adapting that plan can lead to positive change that will help move Thailand out of the current deadlock.
After the Criminal Court handed a five year jail term against Yingluck, the junta issued an organic law that forces her to appeal the case in person. Meanwhile, the junta’s National Strategic Plan has faced the ‘strongest’ rejection. Last week, the prosecution against Yingluck over the Rice Pledging Scheme (RPS) came to an end after the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions read its verdict on 27 September. The court gave Yingluck five years in prison without suspension.
Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was convicted in absentia of malfeasance and sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday for corruption that occurred under her watch. Following a trial that ran over two years and saw its defendant flee the country, the court’s reading of the verdict began at 11am and continued for nearly four hours. In it, judges said Yingluck had been warned by the National Anti-Corruption Commission of graft in a price-pledging subsidy program overseen by her government.
After a trial lasting more than two years, former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ultimately decided to flee the country before her Rice Pledging Scheme’s judgement day. Her destination remains unconfirmed though the media have made various guesses including Singapore, Dubai and the UK.
A well-known anti-corruption activist has called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to probe a Deputy Prime Minister and the national police chief over the flight of fugitive former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Thai Immigration Police deny all knowledge about the former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra fleeing abroad. On 25 August 2017, Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoonthorn, Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, told the media that there has been no report that Yingluck has fled the country. “[I] confirm that there has been no report that Yingluck travelled to Singapore or to neighbouring Cambodia,” BBC Thai quoted him as saying.
On 25 August 2017, the Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant for Yingluck Shinawatra after she failed to turn up for the verdict on her malfeasance trial related to the rice-pledging scheme. Much to the surprise of thousands of supporters of the former Prime Minister Yingluck, the court issued an arrest warrant after she requested postponement of the verdict hearing to 27 September 2017, citing health problems. As her lawyer did not provide a medical certificate, the court ordered her arrest and confiscated 30 million baht of bail money.
Conceding to pressure from the authorities, the former Prime Minister has warned her supporters against coming to court tomorrow when her verdict will be announced, fearing the risk of violence by a ‘third party’. On 24 August 2017, former PM Yingluck Shinawatra posted on her Facebook page that her supporters should stay at home when the verdict on the Rice Pledging Scheme case is read in order to avoid possible violence as the security forces have repeatedly warned. “I recognize the concern and kindness of the people who aw
On 25 August 2017, the Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on the historic case of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who stands accused of causing billions of baht in losses through her administration’s controversial rice-pledging scheme (RPS). Prachatai has gathered 10 important facts about the historic case, which will set a standard for future public policy and almost certainly deepen political divisions regardless of the outcome.