August 25, 2017 / 4:57 AM / a year ago

Thailand's deputy PM says unclear if Yingluck has fled country

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s deputy prime minister said he was unsure of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s whereabouts after a Supreme Court judge said she could have fled the country after failing to attend the court on Friday for the verdict in a negligence case against her.

Supporters of ousted former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra wait for her at the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

“We have heard from officials that she hasn’t showed up,” Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters. “She could be at any hospital ... she could be ill. It’s not clear whether she has fled.”

“Yingluck has many homes and many cars. It is difficult to track her,” he said.

The court set a new date of Sept. 27 for the verdict, but said it would also seek an arrest warrant for Yingluck, who was ousted by a military coup three years ago, as it did not believe the reason she gave for not coming to court. Yingluck, who could be jailed for up to 10 years if found guilty, had said she was suffering from an ear problem.

Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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