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Thai PM to be Indicted for Negligence

  • VOA News

Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, arrives at parliament in Bangkok, Thailand Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, arrives at parliament in Bangkok, Thailand Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

Prosecutors in Thailand say they will indict former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for negligence in a rice subsidy program that cost Thailand $4 billion.

Officials told reporters Friday that Yingluck will face a criminal charge in Thailand's Supreme Court. If convicted, she could face a maximum of 10 years in prison.

The announcement comes on the same day that the country's military-appointed legislature is scheduled to vote in a separate impeachment case against Yingluck for failing to exercise sufficient oversight in the operation.

Yingluck strongly defended herself in parliament Thursday. She told the 220-member legislature that the case against her is politically motivated and that the subsidy program benefited Thai farmers.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission held Yingluck responsible for failing to halt the program, which cost the government about $4 billion.

Yingluck is the younger sister of former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, himself ousted in a military coup in 2006 over accusations of corruption. Thaksin fled Thailand in 2008 when faced with a two-year sentence for corruption, but Thaksin and his Pheu Thai Party remain popular, especially in rural areas.

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