Thailand's parliament has begun an impeachment hearing against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in connection with a rice subsidy program that has cost the country billions of dollars.
In her opening statement Friday to the military-stacked National Legislative Assembly, Yingluck denied all allegations against her.
The impeachment move was triggered when the National Anti-Corruption Commission accused her of abuse of power in May. A court removed her from office and shortly afterward the military took over the country in a coup and declared martial law.
A conviction could automatically ban Yingluck from politics for five years, but could also trigger a backlash from her rural supporters, called "Red Shirts." Protests in Bangkok in 2010 left at least 90 people dead and hundreds injured.
Analysts say the proceedings are a political ploy by urban royalists to weaken the influence of the Shinawatra family in politics. Yingluck's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, was removed as prime minister in a 2006 coup and lives in self-exile to avoid a 2008 graft conviction, but remains hugely influential.