Yingluck Sinawatra ‘flees Thailand’


PV Desk : Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has fled country ahead of a court verdict Friday (August 25), reports BBC quoting sources close to her party.
A Thai court said it would issue an arrest warrant for Yingluck Shinawatra, the former prime minister, after she failed to attend the reading of the verdict in a criminal case against her, reports NewYork Times.
Her failure to show up in court led to speculation that she might flee the country, or that she had already left. Her lawyer, Norawit Larlaeng, told reporters outside the courthouse that he learned of her illness only an hour before the hearing.
Asked if she was in Thailand, he replied, “I don’t know. That’s all I can say.”
Yingluck faces 10 years in prison on charges that she mismanaged a rice subsidy initiative while prime minister, costing the country $8 billion. A conviction would also prevent her from engaging in political activities.
Her failure to appear in court was the latest twist in the drama of a political family, which transformed Thai politics by capturing support of the rural poor with promises to raise living standards.
More than a thousand of Yingluck’s supporters gathered in the capital in the vicinity of the courthouse hours before Friday’s scheduled hearing, but the police blocked roadways and set up barricades to prevent the crowd from getting close. The supporters showed up even though she had told them days ago not to do so.