Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha admitted on Friday that he had no idea about the whereabouts of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but he reminded her that she might lose the chance to appeal the verdict of the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices.
The prime minister said he was informed by officials concerned that Ms Yingluck failed to show up to hear the court's verdict because of sickness, but the court decided to issue an arrest warrant against her.
Insisting that the court case is within the jurisdiction of the judiciary and it has nothing to do with him, he, however, said he had ordered security officials to investigate whether she is still in the country or went abroad or whether she is sick as claimed.
He admitted that he had expected Ms Yingluck to show her courage to attend the court's hearing to listen to the court's verdict.
However, he noted that he was not worried whether the former prime minister would finally show up at the court or not, but warned that Ms Yingluck, in her capacity as the defendant, should be worried because, according to the new Constitution, the defendant has the right to appeal the judgement of the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices.
What is the meaning of Ms Yingluck's absence? Whether she intends to escape or not? Go and ask Ms Yingluck yourself, the prime minister told the media.
The prime minister declined to answer when asked by a reporter whether Ms Yingluck's disappearance will impact on the government's attempt at national reconciliation.
He maintained that he had never anticipated the court's verdict nor Ms Yingluck's failure to show up before the court because the ex-premier and her lawyers had demonstrated to the public all along that they would fight the case to its end.
Commenting on the supporters who showed up to give her moral support, the prime minister admitted that he didn't know whether he no-show would affect her popularity.
But he warned that any group of people who caused public disturbances would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)