Thailand’s former premier Yingluck Shinawatra has to show up in court if she wants to lodge an appeal to Wednesday’s court verdict which sentenced her to five years in jail, said Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) President Meechai Ruchuphan on Thursday.
Under a new legislation on criminal lawsuits against politicians, which will be effective on Thursday, all defendants, including those who may already have been given court verdicts, are obliged to appear in court by themselves to file an appeal to previous court rulings, said Meechai.
Those defendant politicians, including Yingluck, cannot legally have any lawyer file such appeals on their behalf under the new law governing criminal cases against politicians, the CDC president said.
Yingluck is reportedly hiding out in Dubai, following her failure to appear in court to receive last month’s verdict.
The Supreme Court delivered the verdict in absentia of Yingluck who was found guilty of duty-negligence and misconduct charges involving a corruption-prone rice program implemented nationwide several years ago, and she was sentenced to five years in prison.
Meanwhile, Meechai cited the amended Anti-Corruption Act of 2015 as stipulating that the court verdict handed down onto defendant politicians such as Yingluck has no legal age, meaning the former lady leader could possibly be put in jail if found and arrested by authorities at any time.
If she does not file the appeal, the verdict on Wednesday is final. She will be legally banned from politics for the rest of her life in accordance with the constitution of 2017, he added.