Thai court sentences ex-PM to 5 years in jail

Thai authorities said last week they have questioned three police officers who admitted to helping her flee.

The Supreme Court convicted her of mishandling a rice subsidy scheme which allegedly cost Thailand at least $8bn.

The verdict, which makes Yingluck's return to the kingdom increasingly unlikely, said the leader "should have designated reasonable and effective regulations that could concretely prevent loss from the beginning of the programme".

Following her brother Thaksin, Yingluck is the second former prime minister and member of the Shinawatra clan to flee a court ruling.

The two siblings lie at the heart of a political battle that has gnawed at Thailand for more than a decade.

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Both siblings remain popular among Thailand's rural poor, but are opposed by an urban and middle-class elite.

The court will issue another arrest warrant against Yingluck, after an initial warrant was issued when she failed to appear before the court on August 25, when the verdict was originally scheduled to be read.

In a separate case, the military junta demanded Yingluck pay back some of the damages - worth $1.1 billion - and last month froze her bank accounts.

January 2015 - An army-backed legislature impeaches Ms Yingluck for corruption over her role in the rice scheme, which effectively bans her from politics for five years.

Commenting on Yingluck's whereabout, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said Yesterday he has information about her whereabout but would not disclose until after the verdict is read today.

  • Ismael Montgomery