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Deposed Yingluck: I will fight charges

DEPOSED Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra vowed today to fight charges related to her government’s rice subsidy programme.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) recommended criminal charges against her on Thursday for dereliction of duty in failing to halt the programme, which accumulated losses of at least £2.6 billion.

Ms Yingluck complained that the case against her had been unfairly rushed.

“In my view, the first issue is whether the judicial system follows the universal standards of the rule of law, because I think the examination was hasty and rushed,” she said.

“The NACC never treated other cases involving politicians the same way it did with me."

She also criticised the NACC for repeatedly rejecting her requests to allow more witnesses and evidence in her defence.

“Today, I am fully a citizen and deserve the rights and freedoms of other Thais,” she added.

“I insist I will not abandon the Thai people and I am ready to return to Thailand.”

The rice subsidy programme, which paid farmers double the market price, was a flagship policy that helped Ms Yingluck’s government win votes in the 2011 general election.

Her administration claimed that the scheme would directly benefit Thai farmers and reduce the income equality gap in the country.

But the commission ruled in May that Ms Yingluck was liable for impeachment because the rice policy was prone to corruption and massive losses.

That ruling was delivered the day after another court cited her alleged abuse of power in a different matter.

The military seized power in a coup later that month.


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