Thailand confirms that ex-leader Yingluck is in Britain

FILE - In this In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, arrives at parliament in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand’s foreign minister says Yingluck, who fled the country last year to evade a prison sentence, is in Britain, after photos surfaced online apparently showing Yingluck in London. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

BANGKOK — Thailand's foreign minister said Tuesday that former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who fled the country last year to evade a prison sentence, is in Britain, after photos surfaced online apparently showing Yingluck in London.

Yingluck, whose government was ousted in a 2014 coup, was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison on Sept. 27 for negligence in instituting a money-losing rice subsidy program. She fled Thailand before the verdict and has called the case against her politically motivated.

She has not been seen in public since fleeing, but it had been generally assumed that Yingluck was in Dubai or London. Her brother, ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, maintains residences in both cities.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai told reporters Tuesday that a visiting British government minister informed Thai officials that Yingluck has been in London since September.

The confirmation of Yingluck's whereabouts came after several photographs of her appeared in Thai and social media in the past few weeks, including one apparently taken with another woman outside Harrods department store in London.

Don said the Thai government has not made a decision on whether to ask Britain to extradite Yingluck. "We have to do a 360-degree assessment of the situation first," he said.

Yingluck's conviction is the latest chapter in a decade-long struggle between Thailand's traditional ruling class — led by royalists and the military — and the powerful political machine founded by Thaksin, who was toppled in a 2006 coup. Thaksin has lived in Dubai since fleeing a corruption conviction that he says was politically motivated.

Must Read

US, Russia close on Syria deal, but Obama says not there yet

Sep 4, 2016

President Barack Obama says the United States and Russia are working "around the clock" to try to...

Asian stocks mixed on stronger China trade, Nasdaq gain

Sep 8, 2016

Asian stock markets were mixed Thursday after China reported unexpectedly strong trade and Wall...

Asian stocks rise after Wall Street gains

Dec 21, 2016

Asian stocks are higher after U.S. stocks rose to record levels despite attacks in Germany and...

China's 1st aircraft carrier heads for Western Pacific

Dec 25, 2016

China's Defense Ministry says the country's first aircraft carrier has set off for the Western...

China resumes ties with Sao Tome in triumph over Taiwan

Dec 26, 2016

China and Sao Tome and Principe have officially resumed diplomatic relations after the African...