MOSCOW, February 19 (RAPSI) – Thailand’s attorney general has charged former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra with criminal negligence related to her government’s money-losing rice subsidy program, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday, citing an attorney. 

The case was submitted to the Supreme Court’s criminal division for politicians. The rice subsidy program cost Thailand billions of dollars.

Chutichai Sakhakorn, director-general of the special litigation department at the Office of the Attorney General, said the Supreme Court’s special division would hear the case and announce a ruling on March 19.

Yingluck Shinawatra has been charged with negligence and pandering to corruption. 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.

If the court finds her guilty, Yingluck Shinawatra could be sentenced to eight years in prison.

Later on Wednesday, Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NAC) issued a recommendation for the Finance Ministry to initiate civil proceedings against the ex-prime minister in order to collect nearly $18 million in damages from Yingluck Shinawatra and 19 other former Thai officials.

Under the temporary constitution approved after a military coup overthrew Yingluck Shinawatra ‘s government on May 22, 2014, NAC’s recommendations are obligatory for all government agencies.