Prawit vows action against Yingluck helpers
By The Nation
Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan on Wednesday vowed to take legal action against anybody who helped fugitive ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra flee the country.
“When the time comes, everything will unfold. The person who took Yingluck from the country needs to take responsibility,” he said.
However, he said he neither knew Yingluck’s whereabouts nor who helped her escape.
Prasong Lertratanawisute, director of Isra News Agency, said that Yingluck’s ability to escape from the Kingdom a few days before the final verdict reflected a failing in Thailand’s process of justice.
“No matter what deal might or might not have been done to help her escape, the fact that Yingluck could flee from legal action means that the justice process is hindered by some circumstance, disabling it from dealing effectively with people involved in such controversial cases,” Prasong said.
Yingluck has not been seen since failing to appear at a verdict reading in the case related to her government’s rice-pledging scheme on August 25. The court has set a second date of September 27 to read the verdict, in which the ex-premier faces a possible 10-year jail term if convicted of criminal negligence related to the rice scheme.
Meanwhile, Deputy Government Spokesperson Lt General Werachon Sukondhapatipak said he did not know whether Yingluck’s name would be raised during Thursday’s joint cabinet meeting between Thailand and Cambodia, given that the neighbouring country is seen as her possible escape route.
“Senior officers should be the best to address this matter,” he said.
An initial report claimed that Yingluck fled Thailand to Cambodia before flying to Singapore and Dubai, where her brother Thaksin lives in self-exile has a home.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Prawit are due to attend the meeting in Cambodia on Thursday.
In a related development, junta spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree denied the military had received any information from police about Yingluck.
Deputy police chief Pol General Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul yesterday said police had sent investigation information to the military.
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