Smaller, Subdued Crowd Awaits Yingluck Verdict

Supporters seated outside the Supreme Court's political division on Wednesday morning in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — It was a less boisterous crowd of supporters gathered outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday to hear the rescheduled reading of the verdict against former premier Yingluck Shinawatra

About 100 supporters gathered at the court’s Division for Political Office Holders a month after much larger crowds saw a carnival-like atmosphere give way to tears when hours rolled by without Yingluck arriving to hear the court’s ruling in her long-running malfeasance trial.

“The expectations of those who support democracy are almost nil,” said Amphyun Hunsuwan, a supporter of 50-year-old Yingluck from Bangkok. “There’s hardly any justice.”

Read: No Security Threat on Yingluck Verdict, Take 2: Official

Despite having not missed previous court hearings and vowing to remain and face justice, Yingluck was later found to have fled the country, possibly with the help of figures within the security apparatus.

She was immediately declared a fugitive on Aug. 25 as the court issued an arrest warrant against her on the same day. Speculation has her seeking political asylum in England, but she has made no public statements since leaving.

Yingluck was tried for over two years on accusations that her negligence in implementing a government price-guarantee subsidy for rice farmers resulted in billions of baht in losses to the state.

Before the trial ended, the military government moved to personally fine her 35 billion baht and seized her bank accounts.

Although Yingluck was a no-show, the court did sentence one of her deputies last month. Former Commerce Minister Boonsong was sent to prison for 42 years for his role in a bogus deal.

Boonsong was convicted of conspiring with officials and businessmen in a fraudulent export deal with unauthorized Chinese state firms to resell rice bought from farmers under an agricultural subsidy program. Despite being passed off as a government-to-government transaction to skirt transparency and open-bidding requirements, the rice ended up in the hands of domestic rice sellers.

He is seeking to appeal the court’s verdict.

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