Thai SC issues arrest warrant against ex-PM

Judges to decide ex-PM Yingluck's fate tomorrow

The bungled scheme became a lightning rod for anger among protesters and also saw her fall under the glare of anti-graft officials, who are still mulling whether to convict her for negligence - a charge which carries up to 10 years in prison and a life ban from politics.

The court has issued a warrant for Yingluck's arrest, despite her lawyer's claim that she was absent due to illness, and has set a new date of September 27 for its verdict, media reports said.

To many supporters, Ms Yingluck had finally emerged from her elder brother's shadow, drawing on a star quality throughout her 18-month trial that is absent among the gloomy cast of ageing generals who rule Thailand.

"I want those who wish to support me to listen to the news from home, to avoid risking any unexpected problems that could arise from those who have ill-intentions toward the country and all of us", she wrote, without naming anyone.

Yingluck was ousted from office by the Constitutional Court over an abuse-of-power case, ahead of a military coup led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, then head of the army, in May 2014 that overthrew the Pheu Thai Party government.

Thousands of supporters-outnumbered by security forces-waited from dawn for a glimpse of Thailand's first female prime minister, but she did not show, with a senior party source telling Agence France-Presse she is "likely in Singapore".

Thailand's junta chief on Friday ordered border checkpoints to be beefed-up after Shinawatra failed to turn up at the court. She will not leave her people.

"I think the designer of the program did not think carefully, did not understand the functioning of the rice market, particularly the world rice market", said Niphon Poapongsakorn from the Thailand Development Research Institute, who gave evidence at the trial.

The other day, it was to be a judgment day for former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

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TRT World spoke to Tazkira Sattar in Bangkok.

Yingluck maintains her innocence, arguing that the controversial rice-pledging scheme for which she is on trial was for the benefit of farmers and the country. The current regime has also accused Shinawatra of trying to buy votes by subsidizing farmers in the rural areas where her party dominates.

Police gathered late Thursday, August 24, around the Supreme Court in northern Bangkok, erecting barriers and CCTV cameras, in anticipation of the largest turnout of Shinawatra supporters since the coup. "If she is found she will be arrested", he said.

But others have been calling for her to be exiled.

Her lawyers told the court she had been unable to attend because she was ill.

TRT World's Shamim Chowdhury has more.

Ms Shinawatra pleaded innocent and denounced the charges against her as politically motivated.

Since Thaksin's five year prime ministership, the country's political landscape has been split into the red shirts - Thaksin government supporters; and yellow shirts - royalist, nationalist and urban middle class protesters who adopted the colour associated with the revered Thai king to protest Thaksin's alleged corruption.

Some Thai media earlier reported that a auto believed to carry Yingluck was seen at the court as her followers were chanting her name to the vehicle and thus assumed she was there, but she did not show up as expected.

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