Thai PM says he knows whereabouts of Yingluck Shinawatra

Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra waves to supporters as she arrives to deliver closing statements in her trial at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions in Bangkok, on Aug 1, 2017.
Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra waves to supporters as she arrives to deliver closing statements in her trial at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions in Bangkok, on Aug 1, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's junta leader said on Tuesday (Sept 26) that he knows where ousted former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is but will not disclose her location until after a verdict is delivered later this week in her negligence trial.

Yingluck disappeared from Thailand shortly before a Supreme Court verdict scheduled on Aug. 25. Her lawyer said she was ill with an ear problem and could not appear in court.

"I know, but I won't say yet," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a then-army chief who toppled Yingluck's government in a May 2014 coup, told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting. "I'll tell you where she is after Sept 27. I have spies," he said, adding that to his knowledge Yingluck has not sought asylum abroad.

A verdict is to be delivered on Wednesday, Sept 27. Yingluck faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of negligence over a costly rice subsidy scheme that helped to bring her to power in a 2011 general election.

Yingluck, who was active on social media, has not commented publicly since disappearing from public view last month.

Her Puea Thai Party has said that the party does not know where Yingluck is.

Reuters reported last month that she had fled to Dubai where her brother and former prime minister Thaksin has a home and lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a 2008 jail sentence for corruption.

Thai authorities investigating how she escaped said last week they have questioned three police officers who admitted to helping Yingluck flee.