Ex-PM Shinawatra denies family had role in Thai blasts

Yingluck Shinawatra says aware of accusations against her and her brother, Thaksin, but leaving response to lawyers

Ex-PM Shinawatra denies family had role in Thai blasts

World Bulletin / News Desk

Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has denied that she or her brother were responsible for last week's bomb attacks which left four people dead across the country's south.

Talking to reporters Friday outside of court where she faces charges of negligence by the military junta over a rice subsidy scheme, Shinawatra denied any responsibility and said that her brother, Thaksin, was also "not involved".

Thaksin, a two-time prime minister and junta nemesis overthrown in a 2006 military coup, currently lives in exile.

"We are aware of the accusations and we will leave it up to the legal team to pursue whatever action is necessary," she said.

In the aftermath of the Aug. 11-12 bombings in five of southern Thailand’s resorts, some officials had pointed the finger toward their political opponents, most notably members of Thailand's Red Shirt movement who support the Shinawatras.

The blasts came days after the country had voted to accept a junta-backed constitution that paves the way for an election at the end of 2017.

Both the Shinawatras and the opposition Democrat Party had spoken out against the constitution -- which is seen to increase the military's power -- and urged voters not to accept it. 

Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan had both answered public questions on the bombings with responses of who had "most to gain" by weakening tourism and national security.

Some military-aligned commentators had also accused the Shinawatras on social media of masterminding the bombing spree to weaken the power of the military government.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts, although the police have now tied it to members of the country's southern insurgency

During her time as prime minister between 2011 and 2014, Yingluck launched a scheme under which rice was bought from farmers at twice the market price with a stated objective of improving their life conditions.

Yingluck’s political opponents criticized the scheme, saying that it was ill conceived, brought massive financial losses to the state and was riddled with corruption.

The junta -- who overthrew Yingluck 's government in a May 2014 coup -- said earlier this month that corruption and losses from the scheme totaled 287 billion baht ($8.20 billion).

Yingluck has called for a fair trial.

"I know that the rice scheme benefited hundreds of poor farmers around the country," Yingluck -- facing up to ten years in jail -- told reporters during the last court session.

Last Mod: 19 Ağustos 2016, 09:43
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