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Thai court issues second arrest warrant for fugitive former PM Yingluck

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai criminal court has issued a second arrest warrant for former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who fled the country weeks ago before she was sentenced to jail in absentia, police said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Ousted former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrives at the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/File Picture

The warrant, issued on Wednesday, was for violating the immigration law, deputy police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul told reporters.

Yingluck fled abroad in August fearing that the military government, set up after a coup in 2014, would seek a harsh sentence. It remains unclear how she left the country.

Last week, the Supreme Court convicted and sentenced Yingluck in absentia to five years in jail for mismanaging a rice subsidy scheme that cost the country billions of dollars.

Throughout her trial, Yingluck said she was innocent and not responsible for the day-to-day running of the scheme, arguing that she was a victim of political persecution.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief who led the 2014 coup against Yingluck’s government, recently said Thailand would pursue her through diplomatic channels and police cooperation, using Interpol.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks told reporters on Thursday the ministry was working on revoking Yingluck’s Thai passport.

She added that the ministry had no information on whether Yingluck was seeking political asylum.

Last week, Thai police raided Yingluck’s home in eastern Bangkok, armed with a search warrant.

The military government said last week she was in Dubai. But a source in the United Arab Emirates said Yingluck left Dubai for London on Sept. 11, without giving details.

Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat; Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Nick Macfie