The Latest: Thai official says ex-PM's whereabouts unknown
Posted August 25
BANGKOK — The Latest on the court case against Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (all times local):
Thailand's defense minister says he doesn't know the whereabouts of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after she failed to show up in court on Friday, fueling speculation she has left the country.
Yingluck failed to appear for the verdict on negligence charges linked to a rice subsidy program that cost the state billions of dollars. She could face 10 years in prison if convicted in the case, which she has called politically motivated.
Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said Friday that security forces did not allow her to leave and are checking possible routes she may have used if she did.
He said security officials monitoring Yingluck had not seen her leave her Bangkok home in the last two days.
Thailand's Supreme Court says it will issue an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after she failed to show up for a contentious trial in which she could face a 10-year prison term.
A judge read out a statement saying Yingluck's lawyers had informed the court she could not attend the hearing because she was ill.
The judge said the court did not believe the explanation and would issue a warrant for her arrest.
A verdict had been expected Friday in the case, in which Yingluck is facing charges of negligence linked to an ill-fated rice subsidy program that cost the state billions of dollars. Yingluck's supporters believe the case is politically motivated.
The court postponed the verdict until Sept. 27.
Thousands of supporters of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra have gathered outside Thailand's Supreme Court despite calls by the military government and Yingluck herself for them to stay home because of security concerns.
The court is expected to deliver a verdict later Friday on a criminal negligence charge accusing her of wrongdoing in overseeing a rice subsidy program.
Prawit Pongkunnut is a rice farmer from the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima. He said he came to the capital last night with 10 other farmers to show solidarity with Yingluck. He says they want to give Yingluck moral support "because she truly cared and helped us out."