Ex-PM's tears get Prawit cold shoulder
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has given the cold shoulder to former premier Yingluck Shinawatra's pleas for justice over charges against her in connection with the rice-pledging scheme.
He said everyone must adhere to the law.
Gen Prawit was speaking Monday after he was asked by a reporter whether the regime would be lenient to Ms Yingluck, who cried while speaking to the media as she made merit at Wat Saket to mark her 50th birthday last Wednesday.
Asked about Ms Yingluck's recent activities via Facebook Live as the court hearings in her case are about to come to end, Gen Prawit said he had no opinion on the matter.
The former prime minister is defending herself in the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions against a charge of dereliction of duty in the loss-ridden scheme. Ms Yingluck was chair of the National Rice Policy Committee when she was in power.
She faces a possible prison term of up to 10 years and being banned from politics if found guilty.
Ms Yingluck is required to pay more than 35 billion baht in compensation, or roughly 20% of the losses estimated at 178 billion baht determined by a panel set up to investigate the scheme after the Pheu Thai Party-led government was ousted by the coup in 2014.
This video is featured on Ms Yingluck's wall at Facebook, where she recently passed 6 million followers.
Responding to a public poll organised by the National Institute of Development Administration, which suggested most people would support those in the incumbent government setting up a political party, Gen Prawit said he would not do so.
Asked whether Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha plans to form a political party, Gen Prawit said the premier should be asked this question.
As to whether he would persuade Gen Prayut to contest the poll, Gen Prawit said he had never even thought of this possibility.
He said the regime is steering the country forward in line with its roadmap.
Referring to the seizure of Ms Yingluck's assets in relation to losses incurred by the rice scheme, Justice Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana said the Finance Ministry must outline how this should be done.