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Thai junta fines ex-PM Yingluck

Thailand’s ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the military junta that overthrew her has ordered her assets seized and fined her 35 billion baht ($996.87 million) over a rice subsidy scheme critics say hemorrhaged billions of dollars.

The scheme, which paid farmers above market rates for their rice, was a flagship policy of Yingluck’s administration and helped sweep her to office in a 2011 general election. After her 2014 overthrow, Yingluck was charged with criminal negligence over the rice subsidy scheme and is now fighting the charges in court. Yingluck told reporters outside a Bangkok court on Friday that she had received a notice two days ago ordering her assets to be seized.

“In terms of the order, it is not right and it is not just,” Yingluck said. “I will use every channel available to fight this.” The rice subsidy scheme was a populist policy engineered by Yingluck’s brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in a 2006 coup. Her supporters say the case against Yingluck is part of a military plan to wipe out the influence of the Shinawatra family. The junta denies it is singling Yingluck out. (Reuters)

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