World / Asia-Pacific

Thai court accepts Yingluck case

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-03-19 14:44

Thai court accepts Yingluck case

Ousted former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra prepares to deliver her statement at the National Legislative Assembly meeting in Bangkok January 22, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

BANGKOK - Thailand's Supreme Court accepted a criminal case against ousted former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday on a charge of mishandling a multibillion dollar rice subsidy scheme, and she could be jailed for 10 years if found guilty.

"This case is in the Supreme Court's jurisdiction so we have accepted the case and we have set the first court hearing for May 19," the court said in a statement.

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

Yingluck, who did not appear in court on Thursday, has denied the charges.

She has also defended the rice policy which bought rice from farmers at above-market prices, and has said the charges against her are politically motivated.

"Throughout my time as prime minister I worked honestly and I did my duties correctly according to the provisions of the constitution and the law in every respect," she said in a Facebook post.

"The rice policy was one that the public trusted me to perform."

Her supporters see the case as the latest step by the royalist, military establishment to eradicate the influence of her powerful political family, in particular that of her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, also an ousted former premier.

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