Thailand confirms that ex-leader Yingluck is in Britain

FILE - In this In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, arrives at parliament in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand’s foreign minister says Yingluck, who fled the country last year to evade a prison sentence, is in Britain, after photos surfaced online apparently showing Yingluck in London. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

BANGKOK — Thailand's foreign minister said Tuesday that former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who fled the country last year to evade a prison sentence, is in Britain, after photos surfaced online apparently showing Yingluck in London.

Yingluck, whose government was ousted in a 2014 coup, was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison on Sept. 27 for negligence in instituting a money-losing rice subsidy program. She fled Thailand before the verdict and has called the case against her politically motivated.

She has not been seen in public since fleeing, but it had been generally assumed that Yingluck was in Dubai or London. Her brother, ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, maintains residences in both cities.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai told reporters Tuesday that a visiting British government minister informed Thai officials that Yingluck has been in London since September.

The confirmation of Yingluck's whereabouts came after several photographs of her appeared in Thai and social media in the past few weeks, including one apparently taken with another woman outside Harrods department store in London.

Don said the Thai government has not made a decision on whether to ask Britain to extradite Yingluck. "We have to do a 360-degree assessment of the situation first," he said.

Yingluck's conviction is the latest chapter in a decade-long struggle between Thailand's traditional ruling class — led by royalists and the military — and the powerful political machine founded by Thaksin, who was toppled in a 2006 coup. Thaksin has lived in Dubai since fleeing a corruption conviction that he says was politically motivated.

Must Read

China's electric vehicle industry shaken by...

Sep 13, 2016

China's electric vehicle industry, a flagship for Beijing's technology ambitions, has been rocked...

Asia shares falter as investors watch dollar,...

Jan 6, 2017

Asian shares are wavering as a weaker dollar discourages investors who are shying away from risky...

China auto market has bumper year but 2017...

Jan 12, 2017

Industry figures show China's auto market had a bumper year in 2016 as sales grew by 15 percent,...

Chinese factory makes giant inflatable...

Jan 13, 2017

A Chinese factory has been doing a brisk business selling giant inflatable roosters, some as tall...

A look at how Trump might shake things up in Asia

Jan 16, 2017

Donald Trump has offered views on U.S. relations with Asia that could indicate radical shifts in...

Sign up now!

Advertisement