Thailand asks Britain to extradite convicted former PM Yingluck Shinawatra

Thailand's former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra fled the country in August 2017 to avoid being jailed over a rice subsidy scheme that ran up losses in the billions of dollars.
Thailand's former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra fled the country in August 2017 to avoid being jailed over a rice subsidy scheme that ran up losses in the billions of dollars.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand has asked Britain to extradite former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, overthrown in a coup in 2014 and sentenced in absentia to jail for negligence, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday (July 31).

Yingluck fled the country last August to avoid being jailed over a rice subsidy scheme that ran up losses in the billions of dollars. She has denied wrongdoing and said the trial was politically motivated.

The Supreme Court sentenced her in absentia to five years'jail last September.

Prayut said the request was a necessary procedure between the two countries which share an extradition treaty.

"We cannot go and arrest people abroad so it is up to that country to arrest and send (her) to us," Prayut said.

Yingluck and her brother, ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, have been at the centre of a power struggle that has dominated Thai politics for more than a decade, pitting traditional royalist and the military elite against the Shinawatra family and their supporters in the rural north and northeast.