Thailand’s ousted former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was handed a five-year prison sentence on Wednesday after the country’s highest court found her guilty of negligence in the management of a rice subsidy scheme.
|A supporter holds a picture of of ousted former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra while waiting for the verdict in a negligence trial involving Yingluck at the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Yingluck was due to hear the verdict on Aug. 25, but failed to show up, surprising hundreds of supporters who had gathered at the court.
Aides said she had fled Thailand, fearing a harsh sentence. Last month, Reuters reported that she had escaped to Dubai, where her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, owns a home.
Yingluck, who swept to power in a 2011 general election, introduced a rice subsidy scheme that proved wildly popular with farmers but which the military government says caused billions of dollars in losses.
Her government was ousted by the military in 2014.