Supreme Court has final say on Yingluck's overseas travel

Supreme Court has final say on Yingluck's overseas travel

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was at the Supreme Court in Bangkok in September during the rice-pledging trial. (Photo by Phrakrit Juntawong)
Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was at the Supreme Court in Bangkok in September during the rice-pledging trial. (Photo by Phrakrit Juntawong)

Whether former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra can travel to Europe to testify before the European Parliament depends on the Supreme Court, which earlier released her on 30-million-baht bail in the rice-pledging case.

Suebpong Sripongkul, spokesman of the Courts of Justice, said on Tuesday that if a court sets conditions on overseas travel for a person on trial, it has the final word on whether to approve a trip.

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions granted bail to Ms Yingluck in May this year and ordered her not to leave the country without court permission. The order was placed when she answered charges relating to her role in her loss-ridden rice-pledging programme.

A defendant can present whatever reasons they wish when seeking permission for overseas travel, but the court would determine if the reasons are justified and if the defendant would carry out the claimed business or flee prosecution, Mr Suebpong said.

The court could set more conditions, such as increased surety, the Courts of Justice spokesman said.

Members of Ms Yingluck's Pheu Thai Party said that the European Parliament invited Ms Yingluck to Europe to share her views on the political situation in Thailand.

Norawich Lhalaeng, a lawyer of Ms Yingluck, said on Tuesday that he had not received any confirmation if the invitation was real or not and Ms Yingluck had not told him to file any action with the high court.

The Office of the Attorney-General earlier charged Ms Yingluck with dereliction of duty and abuse of authority in failing to stop graft and losses in the rice-pledging scheme, which violated Section 157 of the Criminal Code and Section 123/1 of the Counter Corruption Act 1999.


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