A Thai Supreme Court judge said he suspected Yingluck Shinawatra, the prime minister ousted by a coup in 2014, had fled or gone into hiding after she failed to attend court on Friday for the verdict in a negligence case brought by the ruling junta.
Yingluck, whose family has dominated Thai politics for more than 15 years, faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty in a case centered on the multi-billion dollar losses incurred by a
rice subsidy scheme for farmers.
The court set a new date of Sept. 27 for the verdict, and said it would seek an arrest warrant for Yingluck as it did not believe her excuse that she could not attend the court hearing because of an ear problem.
"We don't think that the defendant is ill. We think that the defendant is hiding or has fled ... We have pushed back the verdict date to September 27," a statement from a Supreme Court judge said. "She asked for sick leave not to show up today."
Yingluck's lawyer, Norwait Lalaeng, said he was unaware whether she was still in Thailand.