BANGKOK – Thailand’s junta chief Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, said Tuesday he knows where fugitive ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra has fled to, but will not reveal her location until after a court delivers its verdict in her negligence trial this week.
The comments were the first admission from the military regime that it had located the runaway premier, who hasn’t been seen or heard from since she slipped out of the kingdom one month ago.
Yingluck, whose government was toppled in a 2014 coup, pulled her vanishing act shortly before a Supreme Court verdict scheduled for August 25.
She faces up to a decade in jail and a lifetime ban from office for allegedly failing to stop graft in a rice policy — a case her supporters say is a junta-driven effort to push her out of politics.
After she failed to show up in court, stunning the huge crowds of supporters who had gathered outside, judges decided to delay the ruling until September 27.
“Now I know of her whereabouts but I will not disclose it until after September 27,” junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha told reporters.
“She has not yet applied for political asylum, and I don’t know whether she will be able to get it,” he added.
Junta and party sources have previously told AFP that Yingluck is believed to have joined her brother Thaksin — another former premier ousted in a coup — in Dubai.
Thaksin has kept a home in the city since he fled Thailand in 2008 to avoid jail for a corruption conviction.