Official rulings in Yingluck Shinawatra case revealed
The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders on Tuesday published the full combined verdict as well as individual judgements of nine judges in the case against fugitive former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra regarding her government’s rice-pledging scheme.
The full 95-page verdict was read on September 27 in absentia after Yingluck fled the country before the scheduled first reading of the verdict on August 25.
She was subsequently found guilty of malfeasance and sentenced to five years in prison.Of the nine judges, Pison Pirun was the only one who ruled that she was not guilty.
The eight others provided similar reasons that Yingluck had been aware of extensive corruption in the rice-pledging scheme.
As prime minister at the time, she had received notice from relevant agencies, such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the Office of Auditor-General, warning of possible negative impacts, particularly to the national treasury, the eight judges wrote.
An aggravating factor was the motion of no confidence that the opposition party had raised to expose irregularities in the flagship scheme.
However, Yingluck had allowed the scheme to proceed even though she, as head of government, had the necessary authority and resources to end the programme before it hurt the country, the judges concluded.
Each of the eight judges who ruled Yingluck guilty provided judgements individually, with the verdicts ranging from 80 to 120 pages.
Pison’s verdict was relatively concise at 14 pages. He said the Attorney-General had prosecuted Yingluck for negligence or misconduct, but according to the law the offence must be accompanied by ill intentions to cause loss to others.
The act of negligence alone did not count as an offence in light of the laws cited by the Attorney-General, Pison argued.
Although the prosecutor had proven the rice-pledging scheme was plagued with corruption, there was no evidence that Yingluck had benefited, Pison wrote.
Although the prosecutor and Yingluck had argued extensively about whether the rice-pledging scheme had caused losses or been beneficial to the economy, Pison wrote that those arguments were irrelevant in the context of the law.
He also rejected Yingluck’s arguments regarding judicial power as irrelevant.
Pison summed up his verdict by ruling that the case against Yingluck should be dismissed.
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