Thai Court Acquits Former PM Yingluck Shinawatra of Mishandling Government Funds Charges

Credits: CNN

A Thai court has acquitted former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who is currently living in exile, of charges related to mishandling funds for a government project in 2013.

This decision marks the latest legal victory for the powerful Shinawatra family, which includes Yingluck’s brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin, who recently was released on parole for corruption-related offenses, returned to Thailand last year after more than a decade of self-imposed exile. He was detained in a hospital for six months before being granted clemency due to his age and health.

Former PM, Yingluck Shinawatra (Credits: South China Morning Post)

Yingluck’s acquittal follows a favorable verdict in December, when the same court cleared her of abuse of power charges related to a personnel transfer she oversaw during her time as prime minister from 2011 to 2014.

However, for Yingluck to return to Thailand without facing prison, she would need a pardon from King Maha Vajiralongkorn or another form of clemency.

In 2017, she was sentenced in absentia for alleged negligence in implementing a rice subsidy program that resulted in significant financial losses for the government.

Yingluck and her supporters maintain that she is innocent and that the charges against her are politically motivated attempts to dismantle Thaksin’s political influence. Thaksin was ousted from power by a military coup in 2006 and has faced allegations of abuse of power, corruption, and disrespect for the monarchy.

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