Supreme Court decides today on hearing Yingluck rice case

Supreme Court decides today on hearing Yingluck rice case
File photo of former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders will today decide whether to accept the case filed against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra for negligence by failing to stop corruption and mismanagement in the rice-pledging scheme that inflicted a loss of Bt600 billion (S$25.3 billion) to the national coffers and the rice trade.

Thanarerk Nitiseranee, chairman of the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders, said a panel of nine judges selected to hear the case would meet today to decide whether to accept the case and select a presiding judge for the case.

He said Yingluck has not filed an objection against any of the judges selected to hear the case. She has time until the first hearing day to object to the appointment of any judge.

Norawit Lalang, Yingluck's lawyer, said the former premier would not be present in the court when the judges announce their decision today.

Surasak Trirattrakul, deputy chief prosecutor in charge of the case, said six prosecutors would go to the court to hear the decision.

If found guilty after being tried, Yingluck could face one to 10 years in prison or a fine of between Bt2,000 and Bt20,000 or both.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Attorney-General have agreed to indict Yingluck on a long-standing criminal case in which she has been accused of dereliction of duty in violation of Section 157 of the Criminal Code and in violation of the NACC Act of 1999 for doing or not doing something that caused damage, or being negligent.

She is accused of intentional exercise of power contrary to Article 178 of the Constitution which stipulates that the prime minister shall carry out the administration of state affairs in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, laws and the policies stated before Parliament.

Yingluck is not legally required to be present at the court today.

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