Thailand’s Supreme Court has issued an arrest warrant for former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra after she failed to turn up to hear the verdict in her trial on negligence charges on Friday.
Ms Yingluck faces up to 10 years in jail if found guilty in her handling of a rice subsidy scheme for farmers when she was in power.
Ms Yingluck’s lawyers told the court country’s first female prime minister was unwell.
But lead judge Cheep Chulamon said “the court does not believe she is sick…and has decided to issue an arrest warrant”. The judge ruled she might be a flight risk.
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The ruling date has been rescheduled to September 27.
Thai media reported the court has seized the equivalent of $1.1 million that Ms Yingluck had posted as bail.
“It is possible that she has fled already,” Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters as he left a meeting in Bangkok. He had earlier said only that he had no confirmation of her whereabouts.