Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra flees to Dubai ahead of verdict

August 26, 2017 9:00 am

This photo taken on July 21, 2017 shows former Thai prime minister greeting her supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court in Bangkok. (By AFP)

’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has fled to , senior members of her party said on Saturday, a day after she failed to show up for a negligence ruling in which she faced up to 10 years in prison.
Sources in her Puea Thai Party said the former prime minister left Thailand last week and flew via Singapore to Dubai where her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a 2008 jail sentence for corruption, has a home.
“We heard that she went to Cambodia and then Singapore from where she flew to Dubai. She has arrived safely and is there now,” said a senior member of the Puea Thai Party, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Deputy national police chief General Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul said police had no record of Yingluck leaving the country and where following developments closely.
Police estimate that up to 3,000 supporters had gathered outside the court in Bangkok on Friday where Yingluck was due to hear a verdict in a negligence trial against her involving a rice buying policy of her administration.
But Yingluck did not show up at the appointed hour and the court quickly issued a statement saying she had cited an ear problem as the reason for her no-show.

Supporters of former Thai Premier Yinluck Shinawatra crowd a car with tinted windows, thinking that Shinawatra was arriving at the Supreme Court in Bangkok on Aug 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The court rejected the excuse and moved the verdict reading to September 27. It later issued an arrest warrant for Yingluck.
Immigration police said they would arrest Yingluck on the spot if she is found.
Sources close to the Shinawatra family on Friday said Yingluck had fled the country ahead of the verdict.
Overthrown in 2014, Yingluck had faced up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. Her former commerce minister was jailed in a related case for 42 years on Friday.
Political parties led or backed by the Shinawatras have dominated Thai , winning every general election since 2001.
But the Shinawatras have been accused of corruption and nepotism by the Bangkok-based establishment who loath Thaksin.
The family command huge support in the poorer, rural north and northeast.
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