Former Thai PM Yingluck seeking asylum in UK


Prayut Chan-O-Cha's first clear comments on Yingluck's whereabouts came a month after she ghosted out off Thailand, ducking a court ruling over charges she failed to stop graft and losses in a costly rice subsidy policy by her government.

Yingluck had faced up to 10 years in prison for her role in the rice-buying scheme, introduced in 2011, which pledged to pay farmers well above the market rate for their crops.

The 50-year-old, who still has the right to appeal, has not appeared in public since pulling the vanishing act on August 25, her initial ruling date. As a result, Vietnam and then India replaced Thailand as the world's leading rice exporter, and large amounts of rice sat unsold in government warehouses.

She fled overseas last month fearing that the military government, set up after a coup in 2014, would seek a harsh sentence.

Yingluck said the subsidy scheme was "beneficial for the farmers and the country" and claims it lost billions of dollars were wrong and motivated by political bias against her.

Some were outside the court Wednesday, waiting to hear the verdict, though there were far fewer than the crowds seen spilling over the pavement onto the streets in August.

Yingluck was barred from leaving Thailand without court approval in 2015, when the trial started.

Her bail of 30 million baht ($900,000), posted when the trial began more than two years ago, has been confiscated.

Pol Gen Srivara said that Pol Col Chairit had not faced a charge, pending the examination of DNA evidence collected from the Toyota auto and the former prime minister's house on Soi Yothin Pattana 3 in Bangkok.

The Toyota Camry allegedly used to take former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to the borders is illegal as its engine and assembly numbers were undocumented and two police officers were charged accordingly.

On Thursday, police searched Yingluck's house in Soi Yothinpatthana 3 in Bangkok, and seized 17 of her personal belongings as evidence. Anti-government protesters, drawn mainly from Bangkok's middle class, royalist establishment, allege that Yingluck was her brother's puppet, who was installed to carry on his work.

Thaksin was toppled from power by a 2006 military coup after being accused of abuse of power, corruption and disrespect for the monarchy. She fled Thailand shortly before the court had initially been scheduled to rule last month. It was his second time in Dubai exile, having earlier lived there and London for 4 1/2 years after stepping down as president in 2008.