THAILAND’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will be taken to court over billions of dollars allegedly lost by her administration’s rice subsidy program, the military government said.
The Cabinet official in charge of the prime minister’s office, Panadda Diskul, said Monday that a committee has determined that 286.64 billion baht ($8.2 billion) in revenues were lost under the scheme, and that Yingluck is liable for about 200 billion baht ($5.8 billion) of the total.
Yingluck was forced from office in May 2014 when a court found her guilty of abuse of power in a personnel case. The army ousted her government shortly afterwards in the May 22 military coup.
Her supporters believe she is being persecuted by the army and by political opponents of her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The Nation reported that the military is claiming Yingluck’s then Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom was also personally liable for a combined damage bill as a result of the scrapped rice-pledging scheme.
The military was referring to the latest report submitted to the national rice policy and management committee.
Nearly 13 million tonnes of rice, the report said, remains in the government’s inventory. The report found that less than a million tonnes was exported.
The legal action taken against the previous administration, Panadda said, should serve as deterrent to politicians who were liable for massive losses incurred by the country.
Additional reporting from Associated Press