Yingluck to lose her Thai passports

Yingluck to lose her Thai passports

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra appears at the Supreme Court on Aug 1 to deliver her closing statement in her defence. She failed to turn up at same place last Friday.(Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakun)
Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra appears at the Supreme Court on Aug 1 to deliver her closing statement in her defence. She failed to turn up at same place last Friday.(Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakun)

The government will revoke the Thai passports of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, now a fugitive after fleeing judgement in her rice scheme trial, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Friday.

The prime minister on Monday confirmed the next step after Ms Yingluck's disappearance was the revocation of her passports.

"It is normal procedure. Legal aspects will be examined to determine what can be done," Gen Prayut said in response to reporters' questions.

He also said the investigation would continue into how she could have left the country. He blamed previous criticism that security authorities were crowding Ms Yingluck. Concerns over human rights had led to the present problem, Gen Prayut said.

He again denied the government intentionally let Ms Yingluck escape. People should consider the departure of both Ms Yingluck and her elder brother and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, he said.

Ms Yingluck failed to appear at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on Friday to hear judgement in her trial for dereliction of duty in failing to stop the losses and corruption in her government's rice-pledging scheme. She was liable to a jail term of 10 years.

Thaksin had left Thailand in 2008 just before the court sentenced him to two years in prison for him for conflict interest after his then-wife bought state land in a prime location in Bangkok in 2003 while he was prime minister. His regular and diplomatic Thai passports had already been revoked.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said on Monday that authorities had followed Ms Yingluck closely. She was able to disappear because she had many vehicles.

He also said he did not know which country she had gone to, or if she would seek political asylum.

The Supreme Court issued a warrant for her arrest and postponed its announcement of the ruling to Sept 27.


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