Friday, 25 August 2017

Ex-Thailand PM Yingluck Shinawatra 'fled country' ahead of court verdict

Thailand's ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra is claimed to have fled to Singapore after she missed a court hearing where she could have been jailed for 10 years.
Ms Shinawatra, who headed Thailand's government between 2011 and 2014, failed to appear for a verdict in her criminal trial on Friday.

It has fuelled speculation she has joined her brother, fellow former premier and ex-Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra, in self-exile.

A senior source in Ms Shinawatra's political party told AFP: "She is definitely no longer here, she is likely in Singapore now.

"She left on Wednesday."

Current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the head of a military junta who toppled Ms Shinawatra's government in a 2014 coup, told border officials to increase inspections at routes out of the country after his predecessor's court no-show.

"I just learned that she did not show up," he said. "I have ordered border checkpoints to be stepped up."

He added: "If she's not guilty she should stay and fight the case.

"If she's not here, what does that tell you? Will she still say that she didn't get justice?"

Thailand's Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant for Ms Shinawatra after she missed the hearing, although the politician's lawyer said she could not attend because of illness.
"I was told at 8am that she was sick from Meniere's disease and felt vertigo, so she asked the court to postpone," her lawyer Norawit Larleng told reporters outside the court.

He added that he did not know if Ms Shinawatra was still in Thailand.

A verdict has now been postponed until 27 September.

SKY        News.

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