Court ruling on Yingluck malfeasance case reset for Dec 26

Court ruling on Yingluck malfeasance case reset for Dec 26

Former caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is surrounded by supporters in May 2014 after the Constitutional Court ruled to remove her from office over her transfer of Thawil Pliensri as National Security Council chief. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Former caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is surrounded by supporters in May 2014 after the Constitutional Court ruled to remove her from office over her transfer of Thawil Pliensri as National Security Council chief. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions has rescheduled Dec 26 for the reading of its ruling on an abuse of power case against fugitive former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra after two postponements.

The court was initially set to read the ruling on the case on Nov 9, but the reading was rescheduled for Nov 29 after one of the members of the panel of judges was unable to appear for the ruling. However, the ruling set for Nov 29 was postponed again because one of the nine judges had died and a replacement was just appointed and needed time to review the case and make a decision.

On Sunday, the court rescheduled the reading for Dec 26 at 1.30pm.

The alleged abuse of power took place on Sept 30, 2011 when Yingluck, then prime minister, signed an order to transfer Thawil Pliensri, who at the time served as secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC), to be an adviser to the prime minister. The cabinet approved the appointment of Pol Gen Wichean Potephosree, the then national police chief, to replace Mr Thawil at the NSC.

After that Yingluck, as chairwoman of the Police Commission, proposed that Pol Gen Priewphan Damapong, then deputy police chief and a close relative of hers, be appointed national police chief, filling the vacancy left by Pol Gen Wichean. This proposal was approved by the Police Commission.

Mr Thawil filed a petition with the Supreme Administrative Court, which subsequently ordered the revocation of the transfer order. Moreover, the Constitutional Court ruled unanimously that Yingluck had abused her power by interfering in the transfer of government officials.

On July 1, 2020, the National Anti-Corruption Commission ruled there were grounds to find Yingluck had been dishonest in performing her duties and recommended the attorney general file a lawsuit against her in the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions.

A warrant for Yingluck’s arrest was issued when she failed to appear before the court for the first hearing of the case in November 2022.

She fled the country ahead of the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions ruling on Aug 25, 2017. She was found guilty of negligence of duty for ignoring corruption in a rice-pledging scheme and was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison.

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