Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday vowed to continue her legal fight in the case stemming from her administration’s controversial rice-pledging scheme, in an interview to CNN.
“I stand firm to fight my case,” Yingluck told the CNN’s Saima Mohsin. “I have the duty and responsibility to fight on. All eyes are on me. I assure you I’ve never thought of fleeing.”
The ex-premier also said that the case against her was “totally bizarre”, as her scheme was aimed at helping the people. The problems were at the execution level, she said, and yet she was being prosecuted despite having been only a policy-maker.
Yingluck’s intention to stay and fight is unlike that of her brother, fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was also overthrown in a coup in 2006. He was subsequently sentenced to two years in prison in a conflict-of-interest case and is living in exile, CNN said.
Yingluck, however, cannot leave the Kingdom, as she needs permission from the junta to travel overseas, CNN said.
Throughout the three-minute TV interview, Yingluck mostly insisted on her political intention and as previously expressed through Thai media, she called for more freedom of speech.
The ex-premier also recalled the scene after being toppled in a coup, how she dealt with it, and her experience during a “chat” at the invitation of the military.
“I was informed to stay calm, not to meet a [certain] group of people for a while, and not post it on Facebook,” she said.
Accompanied by her lawyer, Yingluck spoke cautiously and carefully during her first TV interview since the 2014 coup. CNN said, “She is certainly trying to raise her profile so as to not fade away from Thai political history.”