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Thai former premier Yingluck to be indicted on criminal charges


Thailand's former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra (C) speaks to members of the media as she arrives to answer questions to the National Legislative Assembly during impeachment proceedings against her at Parliament House in Bangkok, Thailand, January 22, 2015. Photo: Narong Sangnak/EPA

Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is to be indicted on criminal charges stemming from her government's rice subsidy scheme, the Thai Office of the Attorney General said February 19.

Ms Yingluck faces charges of dereliction of duty over corruption within the scheme, OAG spokesman Mr Kosolwat Inthujanyong told reporters.

If found guilty, she could face up to 10 years in prison.

Sources inside her former party suggested Ms Yingluck would not attend the hearing.

The former premier has already been impeached by the military-appointed legislature over the same charges and banned from politics for five years.

Ms Yingluck has denied all charges against her.

"I've never cheated anybody," she said during the impeachment proceedings.

She argued that the hearings were politically motivated and that she cannot be impeached as she was no longer in office.

Ms Yingluck was removed from office in May 2014 by the Constitutional Court after months of street demonstrations, including by farmers who had not been paid under the rice scheme.

The rest of her government was ousted later that month by a military coup that installed the current legislature and cabinet.

© DPA

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