Thailand’s Foreign Minister Says Yingluck’s in London But “But We Haven’t Found Her Yet”

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Says Yingluck’s in London But “But We Haven’t Found Her Yet”
Thai police said they have verified the photograph of Yingluck outside Harrods and have confirmed Yingluck’s identity. – Photo Matichon

 

LONDON – 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.

Royal Thai Police are in the process of coordinating with Interpol to issue blue and red notices against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra

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.

Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai declined to comment specifically on whether Thailand would seek Yingluck’s extradition

Britain’s foreign minister told us Yingluck was in London, England,” Don told reporters. “We have communicated consistently “but we haven’t found her.”

He declined to comment specifically on whether Thailand would seek Yingluck’s extradition. Thailand and the United Kingdom have an extradition treaty.

The British embassy in Bangkok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Yingluck’s whereabouts.

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.

The British embassy in Bangkok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Yingluck’s whereabouts.

By Sakchai Lalit – The Associated Press

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