Yingluck slams court bid to have her nabbed
Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has cried foul over the issuance of an arrest warrant because she failed to show up for a trial in which she is accused of ordering the transfer of a senior official to justify installing a close relative as national police chief while she was premier in 2011.
Yingluck tweeted her complaint, claiming she has been subjected to relentless mistreatment over the transfer of one official. She was referring to Thawil Pliensri, the former secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC).
Her tweet came in response to the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions approving a warrant for her arrest on Monday. Yingluck failed to appear in court that day for the first deliberation session of the case.
The prosecutors said she neither provided an explanation nor formally sought to postpone the session, which provided grounds for an arrest warrant to be issued.
Also, her absence was tantamount to rejecting the Criminal Code governing holders of political positions, they said.
With the court's permission, Winyat Chartmontri, the lawyer representing the former premier, said his client would present her statements in writing in 60 days. The court has scheduled a session to examine evidence in the case for March 14.
On Sept 4, 2011, Yingluck ordered the Prime Minister's Secretariat to propose that Mr Thawil be transferred to serve as an adviser to the PM's Office.
The secretariat sent a memorandum to Krisna Seehalak, then permanent secretary of the PM's Office, and Pol Gen Kowit Wattana, who was then a deputy prime minister, telling them to approve the proposal and forward it to the cabinet.
The proposal was initially not on the cabinet's meeting agenda, but it was hastily tabled for consideration and approved. Yingluck then issued an order moving Mr Thawil from the NSC to the PM's Office.
The transfer was processed quickly within four days, according to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
On Oct 4 of that same year, the cabinet appointed Pol Gen Wichean Potephosree, then the national police chief, as head of the NSC.
According to the NACC, Yingluck committed malfeasance and abused her power under the Anti-Corruption Act.