Thailand’s former prime minister is suing the attorney general, who has pressed criminal charges against her, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday. Yingluck Shinawatra, who was ousted by the military over claims that she abused her power, was impeached in January for her role in a rice subsidy program that cost billions.
Yingluck said in her court filing Tuesday that the attorney general’s office was negligent and tried to damage her when it charged her in the rice subsidy case, and did so without properly examining evidence or witnesses. In May 2014, Yingluck was ousted after a court said she was abusing her power, a news agency in the Philippines reported.
The lawsuit stems from a program announced during Yingluck's election campaign in 2011 that allowed the Thai government to buy rice from farmers at a price above the market value. It gained her significant support in rural areas.
But the program eventually caused at least $4.46 billion in losses, according to the Morning Post, and critics said it was rife with corruption which she failed to stop. She was forced from office days before a coup was staged to overthrow the Thai government.
“I’ve come here to exercise my rights in accordance with the legal process,” Yingluck said, according to the Associated Press. “I submitted the lawsuit against the attorney general and team members.”
Yingluck was barred from office for five years when she was impeached in January. If she is convicted in the courts of her involvement with the rice scheme, she could face six months to 10 years in prison. She has denied she was involved in any corruption.
Ousted Thai PM files case against public prosecutor: BANGKOK (Reuters) - Deposed Thai prime minister Yingluck ... http://t.co/8Mx75NVW0Y
— NEWS OF WORLD (@DrAmirulAmin) September 29, 2015
“The rice subsidy scheme was run by groups of people. It was a resolution of the Cabinet. ... Why am I singled out?” Yingluck reportedly said after she was impeached.