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Ex-Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Living in Dubai

  • VOA News

FILE - Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrives at the Supreme Court to make her final statements at her trial in Bangkok, Thailand, Aug. 1, 2017. She was convicted, sentenced in absentia, and is believed to be in Dubai.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says his predecessor, Yingluck Shinawatra, is in Dubai.

The prime minister revealed Yingluck’s whereabouts Thursday during a meeting with journalists, citing a report from the foreign ministry of her movements. Her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, has lived in exile in Dubai since he was overthrown in a 2006 military coup.

Yingluck was convicted by Thailand’s Supreme Court Wednesday on charges of negligence in connection with a botched rice-buying scheme and sentenced in absentia to five years in prison. The verdict was initially to be issued last month, but Yingluck failed to appear for the hearing.

The government lost more than $1 billion in the scheme, which bought rice at above-market prices from poor farmers and aimed to resell it later at a higher price.

Yingluck has denied the charges, claiming they were politically motivated.

Yingluck was overthrown in 2014 in a military coup led by Prime Minister Prayuth, who was then the commander in chief of the Royal Thai Army. The coup capped a decade-long period of political turmoil that began when her brother was forced out of office in 2006 by the military, which backed Thailand’s Bangkok-based royalist-leaning, wealthy elite.

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