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Thailand's PM in court over abuse of power

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 - 01:42

May 6 - Thailand's Constitutional Court to rule in an abuse of power case against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Sarah Toms reports.

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Thailand's prime minister appears before the Constitutional Court in Bangkok to defend herself against allegations of abuse of power. She and her party is accused of benefiting from improperly transferring her national security chief in 2011. The prime minister is also facing other charges of negligence over a government rice subsidy scheme which opponents say was rife with corruption. (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) LAWYER OF PRIME MINISTER YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA, SOMMAI KUSAP SAYING: "Today we have provided whatever we could. We are satisfied with the witnesses that we have presented today but whatever the judges think is up to them, but we have done our best." If she's found guilty of all charges she could be removed from office and banned from politics for five years...it could also bring chaos, violence and large scale pro-government protests onto the streets. Thailand has seen deadlock since anti-government demonstrations began late last year. Yingluck leaves the court for now but protesters want her and her government replaced by an unelected people's council. The prime minister called an election in February that she was expected to win. But it was disrupted by the demonstrations and annulled. Now she heads a caretaker administration. Anti-government protesters say Yingluck's brother, ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra, is corrupt and controls her government. But Yingluck and her party remain popular in rural areas. These judges are expected to make a decision on Wednesday, but whatever the verdict it will only serve to deepen Thailand's already deep divides.

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Thailand's PM in court over abuse of power

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 - 01:42