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Verdict due in ex-Thai prime minister’s corruption trial

Source: BBC.

This material belongs to: Al Jazeera.

Bangkok – A verdict is expected in the corruption case against a former Thai prime minister on Wednesday, but it appears she will not be there to hear it.

Yingluck Shinawatra has already been absent for the court ruling and it is believed that she is in hiding overseas.

On Tuesday, Thailand’s junta leader Prayuth Chan-o-cha said he knows where Yingluck is, but will not disclose her location until after a verdict is delivered in her negligence trial.

“I know, but I won’t say yet,” Prayuth, who toppled Yingluck’s government in a May 2014 coup, said after a weekly cabinet meeting.

“I’ll tell you where she is after September 27. I have spies.”

Prayuth said that to his knowledge, Yingluck has not sought asylum abroad.

Yingluck disappeared from Thailand shortly before a Supreme Court verdict scheduled on August 25.

Her lawyer said she was ill with an ear problem and could not appear in court.

Yingluck, who was active on social media, has not commented publicly since disappearing from public view last month.

Her Puea Thai Party has said that it does not know where Yingluck is.

Location speculation

Reuters news agency reported in August that she had fled to Dubai where her brother and former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, has a home and lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a 2008 jail sentence for corruption.

Thai authorities investigating how she escaped said last week they have questioned three police officers who admitted to helping Yingluck flee.

The junta has denied any prior knowledge of Yingluck’s plan to escape. But many in the kingdom find that difficult to believe given the tight security net and constant surveillance of Yingluck.

Analysts said Yingluck most probably brokered a deal with the military leaders, who would have been eager to see off a popular politician poised to become a democracy martyr.

If convicted, Yingluck faces a jail term of up to 10 years and a lifetime ban from politics.