Ousted Thai PM Yingluck pleads with court to revoke S$1.4 billion fine over rice scheme

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the government's order for her to pay 35 billion baht (S$1.41 billion) in compensation would leave her destitute.
Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the government's order for her to pay 35 billion baht (S$1.41 billion) in compensation would leave her destitute. PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Thursday (Jan 26) that the government's order for her to pay 35 billion baht (S$1.41 billion) in compensation would leave her destitute and cause her to "suffer severely".

The military government has issued an administrative order to claw back money spent by her administration, which bought rice from farmers for some 50 per cent above market price.

Ms Yingluck, who was ousted in a May 2014 coup, received the order on Wednesday and has 30 days to pay up, or risks having her assets seized.

On Thursday, she called on the Administrative Court to revoke the administrative order.

"If my assets are seized, I will suffer severely. This will be a huge debt that I will not be able to pay during my lifetime. I will be left destitute. The suffering cannot be explained," Ms Yingluck said in a shaking voice on Thursday.

She added that the rest of her family would also suffer if her assets are seized.

Ms Yingluck, who declared 541 million baht in net assets when she assumed office in 2011, is currently on trial for criminal negligence over the same rice scheme.

Critics say it was riddled with corruption and left government warehouses overflowing with stockpiled padi.

She faces up to 10 years in jail if found guilty.