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    Jul 18, 2014

    Yingluck found guilty in rice subsidy case


    THAILAND'S National Anti-Corruption Commission found former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of negligence for failing to stem losses from a state rice-subsidy programme.

    The decision was unanimous, with all seven commissioners saying Yingluck should have halted the programme after being warned of losses that grew to an estimated 500 billion baht (S$19.3 billion), Vicha Mahakun, one of the commissioners, told reporters in Bangkok.

    "The defendant, as prime minister, needed to suspend the programme soon after acknowledging that there was corruption and losses from the programme, but the defendant insisted on continuing with the programme, creating further losses," Mr Vicha said.

    Yingluck already faces a possible five-year ban from politics after being forced to step down on May 7, when the Constitutional Court found her guilty of abusing her power in the transfer of an official.

    The military ousted the rest of her government in a coup on May 22, following months of street protests by groups which accused her family of crony capitalism, abuse of power and using populist policies to secure the support of rural voters.

    The rice programme, which paid farmers above-market rates for their crops to lift rural incomes, was one of the main election policies of Yingluck's Pheu Thai party.

    Before the ruling, the military junta approved her request to travel to Europe from Sunday to Aug 10.