Rice scheme ruling on Yingluck delayed

September 05, 2014 - 12:00:00 am
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan Ocha leaves Government House as he leads a new cabinet to an audience with King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok yesterday.

 

BANGKOK: Thai authorities yesterday delayed a ruling on whether deposed former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra will face criminal charges over a loss-making rice subsidy scheme.

The attorney general’s office said it needed more time to investigate Yingluck’s involvement in the controversial scheme, which became a clarion call for protests against her now toppled government.

“There is not enough evidence to take legal action against former Prime Minister Yingluck as accused by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC),” Wanchai Rojanawong, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said at a press conference in Bangkok.

The attorney general will form a joint committee with the NACC to gather more evidence before deciding whether to charge her, he said, without specifying when it would make a decision on an indictment.

Yingluck, Thailand’s first female premier, was removed from office in a controversial court ruling shortly before the army toppled the remnants of her elected government on May 22.

Just a day after she was removed from office, the NACC indicted the former leader for dereliction of duty in relation to the rice policy, later forwarding the case to the attorney general’s office to consider criminal charges.

Yingluck’s deeply divisive elder brother Thaksin -- a billionaire former premier -- lives in self-exile to avoid jail for a corruption conviction.                           

AFP

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