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Yingluck's future: A Thai court or exile? (updated)

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Latest: Former PM Yingluck Shinawatra held a press conference today and vowed to return to Thailand on August 10. Speculation mounted yesterday whether former PM Yingluck Shinawatra would return from her scheduled trip to Europeafter she was indicted by NACC for "dereliction of duty".

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Friday evening update

Here is the latest from one of our political reporters, Aekarach Sattaburuth:

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her lawyers at SC Park Hotel, Bangkok, where her press conference took place on Friday. KOSOL NAKACHOL

Yingluck vows to return, blasts NACC for rushing investigation

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra Friday pledged not to flee prosecution in Thailand and lambasted the National Anti-Corruption Commission for unfairly rushing the investigation into her role in the loss-ridden rice-pledging scheme.

At her first press conference since the May 22 coup, Ms Yingluck claimed the NACC had unjustly decided to recommend criminal charges be filed against her for not halting the rice scheme.

Speaking at the Shinawatra family-owned SC Park Hotel, she complained the panel had spent only 21 days on its initial probe before calling on her to make a defence. And the entire process, leading to Thursday's call for indictment, took only 140 days, versus years it typically takes for cases against other politicians.

At the news conference she pledged to return and said the trip was personal, had been planned for some time and had a clear itinerary, with a return date of Aug 10.

"Today, I am fully a citizen and deserve the rights and freedoms of other Thais. I insist I will not abandon the Thai people and I am ready to return to Thailand," she said.

Morning story

Ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra has been given permission by the military council to fly to Europe, presumably to attend next week's 65th birthday party for her brother Thaksin in Paris. (AFP file photo)

NACC seeks Yingluck’s indictment

Speculation mounts ex-PM will go into exile


The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has decided to recommend former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra be indicted for dereliction of duty in failing to deal with corruption and losses in the rice-pledging scheme.

The decision has raised questions over whether or not Ms Yingluck will flee into exile or return to Thailand to face charges since she has already obtained permission from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to travel to Europe next week.

NACC member Vicha Mahakhun said Thursday the commission ruled by a vote of 7-0 there are sufficient grounds to the allegations that Ms Yingluck was negligent in failing to scrap the pledging scheme despite knowing it was plagued with corruption and huge losses.

Ms Yingluck chaired the National Rice Policy Committee when she was premier.

The NACC will forward the case to the Office of the Attorney-General, recommending Ms Yingluck be indicted in the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions, Mr Vicha said.

He said an NACC inquiry had found that the rice-pledging scheme was riddled with corruption at every level, such as the rigging of weighing scales, unauthorised moving of rice stocks from storage warehouses, secret rice auctions, and cronyism.

The NACC estimates the rice scheme lost at least 500 billion baht, Mr Vicha said.

Meanwhile, questions have been raised as to whether Ms Yingluck will ever return to Thailand from her planned trip to Europe next week.

Ms Yingluck previously wrote to NCPO chief Prayuth Chan-ocha to request permission to leave the country for a holiday to Europe with her son from Sunday to Aug 10.

It has been speculated that she will travel to France to attend a birthday party for her elder brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on July 26.

A source close to Ms Yingluck confirmed she will be travelling to France and Britain, as well as the US.

But former senator Somchai Sawaengkarn, a member of the anti-Thaksin Group of 40 Senators, said on his Facebook page that he did not think Ms Yingluck would flee the country to escape the case.

She will probably return to Thailand to fight the case, which will take quite some time, and the circumstances could change when the NCPO steps down from its role after an election, Mr Somchai said.

He also noted that many of Ms Yingluck's assets remain in the country.

Given the value of her assets, she could not afford to flee into exile, Mr Somchai said.

Mr Somchai also said that the NACC will propose legal amendments to the National Legislative Assembly to extend the statute of limitations in corruption cases to 30 years and revive expired cases.

This means if Ms Yingluck does not return to Thailand, she will have to remain in self-imposed exile probably for the rest of her life and she will have her assets seized, her passport revoked or could face extradition, Mr Somchai said.

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abandon : to leave a person or group that you are with - ละทิ้ง

allegations (noun): accusations - ข้อกล่าวหา

amendment : a change made to a law or agreement, in this case, to the constitution - การแก้ไขกฎหมาย ในที่นี้หมายถึงการแก้ไขรัฐธรรมนูญ

assembly : a group of people who have been elected or chosen in order to discuss issues and make decisions - สภา, สมัชชา

assets : things owned by a person, company etc., particularly money and property - ทรัพย์สิน

Attorney-General : the top legal officer in some countries, who advises the leader of the government - อัยการสูงสุด

auction : a usually public sale of goods or property, where people make higher and higher bids (= offers of money) for each thing, until the thing is sold to the person who will pay most - การขายโดยการประมูล, การขายทอดตลาด

can't afford to : to not be able to do something because it will cause problems for you if you do -

charge  : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา

circumstances (noun): facts or conditions that affect a situation - เหตุการณ์แวดล้อม

citizen : someone who has the right to live permanently in a particular country - พลเมือง 

claim : to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - อ้าง

coup : the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces - รัฐประหาร

cronyism : the practice of giving jobs and other advantages to friends, especially in politics - ระบบพวกพ้อง การเล่นพรรคเล่นพวก การเอื้อประโยชน์ให้แก่คนใกล้ชิดของตน

defence : something you say to support someone or something that is being criticised or charged - การปกป้อง การแก้ต่าง

dereliction of duty : a serious failure to do the things that you are responsible for in your job - การละทิ้งหน้าที่

elder : older - ที่อายุมากกว่า

estimate (verb): to say what you think an amount or value is or will be, either by using available information or by guessing - คาดคะเน, ประมาณการ

exile : a situation in which you live in a foreign country because you feel you cannot live in your own country, usually for political reasons - การลี้ภัย การถูกขับออกนอกประเทศ

expire : to come to an end or stop being in use - หมดอายุ

extend : to add more time - ยืดออกไป

extradition : sending someone accused of a crime back to the country where the crime was committed for trial or punishment - การส่งผู้ร้ายข้ามแดน

flee (past form: fled) (verb): to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger or consequences - หนี

forward : to send onwards - ส่งต่อ

grounds : reasons for saying or doing something - เหตุผล

indicted (verb): officially accused someone of a serious crime - ถูกฟ้องร้อง

indictment : an official statement accusing someone of a serious crime - การฟ้องร้อง, การดำเนินคดี

initial : early; first - เบื้องต้น

inquiry : an official examination of a problem, crime,  accident, etc. in order to get information or the truth - การไต่สวนหาข้อเท็จจริง การไต่สวน

itinerary : a plan of a journey that you are going to make, including information about when and where you will travel - แผนการการเดินทาง

lambast : to criticise someone or something severely -

legal : relating to the law - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย

legislative : involving the part of government responsible for creating new laws - เกี่ยวข้องกับสภานิติบัญญัติ

level : a position or rank in a scale of size or importance - ระดับ

meanwhile : at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน

mount : to increase - เพิ่มขึ้น

National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) : An independent government organisation to investigate corruption carried out by government officials - ปปช. (สำนักคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ)

National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) (noun): The military-installed group ruling Thailand following the 2014 coup d'état - คณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ

negligent : not being careful or giving enough attention to people or things that are your responsibility - ละเลย,ไม่สนใจ

obtain : to get something that you want or need, especially by going through a process that is difficult - ได้มา, ได้รับ

panel : a group of people who make decisions or judgments - คณะกรรมการ

permission : allowing someone to do something - การอนุญาต,การอนุมัติ,การยินยอม

plagued : caused a lot of problems for someone or something for a long period of time - ทำให้ยุ่งยาก ลำบากมานาน

pledge : to make a serious promise to do something - สัญญา

policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย

presumably : used for saying that you think something is true based on what you know, although you are not really certain - น่าเป็นไปได้, ซึ่งพอเป็นจริงได้

probe : an investigation - การสอบสวน

process : a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ

propose : to suggest an idea for a group to consider - เสนอ

prosecution : the process of accusing someone of a crime and asking a court of law to judge them - การดำเนินคดีตามกฎหมาย

recommend (verb): to advise someone that they should do something - แนะนำ

revive : to come or bring something back to existence or use - ฟื้นฟู, ทำให้เกิดขึ้นอีก

revoke : to officially say that something is no longer legal, e.g., a contract, a law, a document, etc. - เพิกถอน

rice-pledging scheme : a government programme in which farmers sell rice to the government at a particular price, with the right to reclaim the rice if the market price goes higher - โครงการจำนำข้าว

riddled with : full of (something bad) - เต็มไปด้วย

rigging : arranging dishonestly for the result of something -

role : the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท

rule : (of a court or other group with similar authority) to make and announce a decision - ตัดสิน, พิพากษา, ชี้ขาด

scale (noun): an instrument for weighing people or things - ตราชั่ง, เครื่องชั่ง

scheme : a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people - แผนการ โครงการ

scrap : to get rid of; to stop using or accepting - เลิก, ทิ้ง

seize assets : to officially take away things own by a person or organisation, e.g., money, equipment, property, etc. - ยึดหรืออายัดทรัพย์สิน

self-imposed : of something that you do yourself to do rather than being forced by someone else - อย่างสมัครใจ

senator : a member of the Senate - วุฒิสมาชิก

source : someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว

speculation : ideas or discussion about what might happen or has happened or why something has happened without having complete information - การคาดการณ์

statute of limitations : the legal limit on the period of time within which action can be taken on a crime or other legal question  - อายุความ

stocks (noun): the total amount of something that is available for people to use - ปริมาณ/จำนวนที่สะสมไว้

storage : the putting and keeping of things in a special place for use in the future - การเก็บ

sufficient : enough - เพียงพอ

Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions : a trial court in a case where the Prime Minister, a minister, member of the House of Representatives, senator or other political official is accused of becoming unusually wealthy, committing crimes with in office, performing duties dishonestly, or being corrupted according to other laws. - ศาลฎีกา แผนกคดีอาญาของผู้ดำรงตำแหน่งทางการเมือง

unauthorised : without having permission to do something - ที่ไม่ได้รับอนุญาต

unjust : not fair or reasonable - ไม่ยุติธรรม

warehouse : a large building for storing things - โกดังสินค้า, คลังสินค้า, โรงพัสดุ


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