Court throws out case filed by ousted Thai PM against prosecutor

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces up to 10 years in jail if she is found guilty of negligence in a multi-billion dollar rice-buying scheme that incurred huge losses.

BANGKOK - A Thai court on Tuesday threw out a case against the attorney general filed by deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, saying it found no evidence of any abuse by prosecutors.

Thailand's first female prime minister filed the lawsuit last month alleging unfair handling of negligence charges against her, relating to a multi-billion dollar rice-buying scheme that incurred big losses.

Yingluck faces up to 10 years in jail if she is found guilty of negligence.

Yingluck's legal team said in their lawsuit the attorney-general had charged her with insufficient evidence.

One of Yingluck's lawyers said an appeal against Tuesday's ruling was being considered. "We will first look at the court's explanation because there are many details, and decide whether to appeal," lawyer Sommai Koosap told Reuters. "I personally believe we will appeal."

Rivalry between the royalist-military establishment and the Shinawatra family, in particular Yingluck's brother, ousted populist premier Thaksin Shinawatra, has been at the heart of a decade of political turmoil in Thailand.

Yingluck was removed from office in May 2014 after a court found her guilty of abuse of power, days before the army staged a coup after months of street demonstrations in Bangkok.

She has defended the policy which bought rice from farmers at above-market prices.

The ruling junta says the rice scheme was tainted by graft and caused US$16 billion (S$23 billion) in losses.

In January, Yingluck was banned from politics for five years after a military-backed legislature found her guilty of corruption relating to the rice subsidy scheme.

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