Yingluck 'in court' for rice case trial

Yingluck 'in court' for rice case trial

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra will be at the Supreme Court on Friday for the first hearing in her rice-pledging scheme trial, her lawyer said on Thursday.

Norawich Lhalaeng said Ms Yingluck would be at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions in Bangkok at 9.30am for the first day of the hearing of prosecution witnesses.

The lawyer said he had already sent to the court questions to be posed to all prosecution witnesses.

Asked if he was concerned about the defence of his client, he said he would not answer the question. But his defence team would do the best as far as the law was concerned.

A source in the public prosecutors office said prosecutors would present four witnesses on Friday. Nipon Poapongsakorn, former chairman of the Thailand Development Research Institute, would give the overall picture of the rice-pledging scheme. Other witnesses would be a reporter, deputy auditor general Prajuck Boonyoung and Jirachai Moonthongroy, a deputy permanent secretary of the PM's Office.

Ms Yingluck has been charged with dereliction of duty causing damage under Section 157 of the Criminal Code, and failure to perform her duty as a state official under the Anti-Corruption Act, as she had failed to stop corruption in the rice-pledging scheme which reported losses of more than 500 billion baht to the state.

The court earlier released Ms Yingluck on 30-million-baht bail and rejected her requests to travel to Europe and Japan last month.

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