Judgement day for Yingluck set for Aug 25

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions has set Aug 25 for the delivery of its final ruling on the rice-pledging case against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and dismissed her petition to seek a Constitutional Court's ruling on the constitutionality of the proceedings of her case.

The court has also scheduled Aug 1 for Ms Yingluck to deliver her closing statement.

In addition, the prosecutors and Ms Yingluck are allowed to submit their closing statements in writing to the court on Aug 15, before the final ruling on Aug 25.

The dates for Ms Yingluck to deliver the closing statement and for the court to deliver the verdict were set after the last batch of three defence witnesses in the case testified today (July 21), ending the trial.

The witnesses outlined steps taken to distribute rice from warehouses to clear doubted that the rice had been adulterated with rice brought from neighbouring countries.

After the trial, Ms Yingluck walked out of the courtroom to meet her supporters.

To a throng of news reporters waiting outside to interview and take pictures of her, Ms Yingluck said briefly that she would from now not talk to the press about the case to show respect to the court, which has completed the examination of defence witnesses and is in the process of deliberating the case.

The former prime minister said she would speak out in details about the case when she delivers the closing statement on Aug 1.

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on Friday also dismissed Ms Yingluck's petition for it to ask the Constitutional Court to rule whether the proceedings of her case under Section 5 of the 1999 law on the criminal procedures for political position holders contradicts with the current constitution.

In rejecting her petition, the court reasoned that both the constitution and the law on criminal procedures for political position holders allow for the Supreme Court to conduct more investigation and gather more evidence as necessary. In the proceedings of Ms Yingluck's case, the court has allowed both sides to bring 45 additional witnesses, who testified on altogether 26 hearings.

On Aug 25, the judgement day for Ms Yingluck's case, the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions will also give its ruling on a related case against former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and 27 other individuals and juristic entities for the alleged fake government-to-government (G-to-G) rice sales to China.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)