Yingluck verdict due

Yingluck verdict due

24/08/17

Thailand’s former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces a possible 10 year jail term if convicted in the Supreme Court in Bangkok on Friday.

The former leader of the Pheu Thai Party is accused of charges of malfeasance, or dereliction of duty, over a rice scheme as chair of the National Rice Policy Committee, reports the BBC.

The scheme paid an above market rate per tonne to Thai rice farmers, however it is claimed that much of the rice stock was unused and unsold and is estimated to have cost the Thai treasury at least $US8bn, reports Reuters

Yingluck won a landslide general election in 2011 but was overthrown in a bloodless military coup in 2014 after months of unrest between ‘red shirt’ and ‘yellow shirt’ political factions that divided the nation and saw protests and violence on the streets of Bangkok.

Legal commentators point to several potential scenarios from incarceration to acquittal, where Yingluck  is likely to be banned from political life.

Support for the Pheu Thai Party, founded by Yinluck’s self-exiled brother and former prime minister Taksin Shinawatra, still enjoys huge popularity and will search for a new leader to contest the military government in upcoming elections slated for 2018.