Former Thai PM Shinawatra testifies in corruption case
BANGKOK, August 31 (RAPSI) — Deposed Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra testified before the Supreme Court on Monday in a corruption case, Thai national Channel 3 reported.
The grain policy, which she carried out in 2011-2014, was an effort to boost farmers’ revenue by buying their rice at above market prices. It caused an estimated $16 billion in losses and left Thailand with 13.9 million tons of unused rice.
The former PM and her defense lawyers appeared before the Supreme Court’s board designated to hear the cases of high-ranking political and government officials. Yingluck Shinawatra, who stands charged with criminal negligence and connivance in corrupt practices and corruption, testified as chair of Thailand’s National Rice Policy Committee, although she was not directly connected with the implementation of the program.
She provided 64 additional defense witnesses, whom the court accepted. The court set the next hearing for October 29.
The rice subsidy plan won Yingluck Shinawatra the votes of millions of farmers in 2011 but was later compromised by reports of corruption and mismanagement. Billions of dollars were paid in subsidies to farmers, more than doubling the market rate for their crop in 2011-2014 resulting in damages to the farms and the state estimated at 800 billion baht (about $25 billion).