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Thailand's ex-prime minister apparently fled abroad

Friday, August 25th, 2017 | World News

Thailand has issued an arrest warrant against its former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. On Friday, the 50-year-old left his verdict in a lawsuit for billions of tax dollars.

According to her lawyers, she was too ill to appear in court in Bangkok. Thereupon, the judiciary ordered to seek arrest warrant. It is assumed that the politician has dropped abroad. In the case of a conviction, they are threatened with up to ten years' imprisonment.

First Prime Minister in Southeast Asia
Yingluck is the sister of the former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been living in exile for years after being convicted of misuse. In 2011, she became the first woman in the history of the Southeast Asian kingdom to become Prime Minister. Her brother could not be a candidate at that time. In May 2014, the Constitutional Court dismissed them. Shortly thereafter the military came to power. The generals reign to this day. Yingluck was charged with controversial subsidies for rice. (Source: Andrey Nekrasov / imago)

Billion for rice
Because of the allegations that are due in their term, Yingluck had been responsible for a special court for political crimes for one and a half years. She is charged with having wasted with state subsidies for rice billions. The government program gave peasants up to twice as much money as the world market price. In the space is a damage between four and 17 billion US dollars – converted up to 14.5 billion euros.

High security precautions for fear of riots
However, the former Prime Minister rejected all allegations as "political machinations". The Reisprogramme was one of their central electoral promises. In Thailand, it still has a large contingent, especially in poorer sections of the population. It was feared that a conviction would lead to riots. This is why high security precautions were applied throughout the country on Friday.

 Yingluck simply did not appear to be the verdict. Their attorneys justified this with a headache and aching ears, but without presenting a certificate. Thereupon, an arrest warrant was issued because of the "escape danger". According to newspaper reports, the politician has moved abroad, possibly to Singapore. Her lawyer Norawit Lalaeng told the dpa: "I do not know where Yingluck is, I can not confirm that she's still in the country."

Judgment will be announced on September 27th
Yingluck had previously repeatedly promised not to flee abroad. On Wednesday she stayed in Bangkok. General Prayuth Chan-o-cha, Minister-President of the current military government, ordered a tightening of border controls. The promulgation of the judgment was postponed to 27 September. If Yingluck does not appear, the judge should be announced in the absence. The supporters of Yingluck demand justice. (Source: Anusak Laowilas / imago)

In court thousands of supporters of the former Prime Minister followed the latest developments. Many wore t-shirts with slogans such as "Justice, Love, Yingluck." A friend, Bang-orn Saung, said, "Yingluck is a good person, the Shinawatras have never forgotten us poor people, I pray to the holy spirits to protect Yingluck."

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