Yingluck ready for ruling day

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is at the Supreme Court for her closing statement on Aug 1. (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakun)

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra will be at the Supreme Court in Bangkok on Friday to hear the ruling on her rice-pledging scheme case while authorities try to block her supporters and warn their presence at the court can be illegal.

“The former prime minister is ready for the ruling. Lawyers are preparing themselves too,” Norawit Lalaeng, a lawyer of Ms Yingluck, said on Tuesday.

Asked about her morale, Mr Norawit said no one felt good before such a ruling but she had good morale when a lot of people showed up to give her support.

The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions will probably read the ruling on the rice-pledging scheme of Ms Yingluck in the afternoon since it is scheduled to read the ruling on another case involving government-to-government rice sales first on that day, the lawyer said. Former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and others are the defendants in the rice sales case.

Court officials said people who entered the court to hear the rulings on Friday were prohibited from carrying all kinds of communication devices.

On Tuesday, senior police discussed security measures for the Friday ruling date at the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

Bangkok police commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn said 3,600 policemen would be deployed to secure the Supreme Court. They would also set up checkpoints in its vicinity and barricades would be put up outside the court.

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said police expected Ms Yingluck’s supporters would arrive from the provinces but steel barricades would be erected to mark the boundary of the court’s authority.

He warned that anyone who entered it without permission would be found in contempt of court.

In the northeastern province of Udon Thani, a stronghold of red-shirt activists and Ms Yingluck’s supporters, soldiers would start their checkpoints on Mittraphap Highway on Wednesday.

Local police were ordered to monitor the movements of Ms Yingluck’s supporters and convince their leaders and local transport operators not to bring supporters to Bangkok.

Pol Maj Gen Peerapong Wongsaman, commander of Udon Thani police, said no one was mobilising supporters for Friday but 10-15 key supporters including former MPs would individually travel from Udon Thani to Bangkok for the ruling.

On Friday, the Supreme Court will rule whether Ms Yingluck is guilty of neglecting her duty in handling her loss-ridden rice-pledging programme. If found guilty, she will face a jail term up to 10 years.

Police check the identification of train passengers in Lampang province on Tuesday as they were ordered to monitor the movements of Ms Yingluck’s supporters on Friday. (Photo by Assawin Wongnorkaew)

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