Thailand’s top court sentenced ousted premier Yingluck Shinawatra in absentia to five years in prison for criminal negligence.
Yingluck, whose elected government was toppled in a 2014 coup, fled the country last month after being charged over her government’s failed rice policy.
“The court found that the defendant is guilty as charged… the court has sentenced her to five years in prison and the court also unanimously agreed that the sentence will not be suspended,” the judge said.
She was accused of negligence relating to a rice subsidy scheme for Thai farmers that resulted in multibillion-dollar losses.
At the time of her disappearance, Thailand’s deputy prime minister Prawit Wongsuwan told local media there was a possibility that she had fled the country.
Thai media speculated she might have fled to neighbouring Cambodia or Dubai, where her brother Thaksin Shinawatra owns a property.
Yingluck served as Thailand’s prime minister from 2011 to 2014. The negligence charge carried a maximum sentence of 10 years.