Fugitive former Thai PM Yingluck gets five years' jail in absentia

Yingluck sentenced to prison in absentia
Thai court finds Yingluck guilty, hands down 5-year jail sentence
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28 September, 2017

Nine judges voted unanimously to find Yingluck guilty in a verdict reading that took four hours, and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

The military seized power from Yingluck's government in a May 2014 coup citing the need to restore order and normalcy.

The judgement today for Yingluck was postponed from August 25 when she did not show up in court but left a note to her lawyer to inform the court that she could not arrive in court because she had a balance disorder in the ears.

The younger sister of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra did not attend Wednesday's court verdict.

The ex-prime minister-turned-fugitive was not present in court, which sentenced her to five years over subsidy scandal which normally attracts a maximum penalty of ten years in jail.

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Proponents of the military government defended the ruling against critics who said it was politically motivated. "I have spies", he said, adding that to his knowledge Ms Yingluck has not sought asylum overseas.

Yingluck had faced up to 10 years in prison for negligence over the costly scheme that had helped get her elected in 2011.

One Pheu Thai leading member said they have met and agreed not to come to court today as she is absent. According to authorities, this caused the country $8 billion, in financial losses.

- Sentences her to five years in jail.

Her Puea Thai Party has said it does not know where she is. But there are widespread reports she joined her billionaire brother Thaksin, a former prime minister ousted in a 2006 coup, in Dubai.


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