Witness testimony in ex-Thai PM’s trial starts in January

Bangkok, Oct 29 (IANS) A Thai court on Thursday set January 15, next year for the first examination of prosecution witnesses in the trial of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra for negligence in administering her government’s rice-pledging scheme.

Yingluck has been charged with dereliction of duty causing damage and failure to perform her duty as a state official and to stop corruption in the rice-pledging scheme. The scheme has reported losses totalling more than 500 billion baht (about $14 billion), The Bangkok Post reported.

Yingluck and state prosecutors were present at the court on Thursday for the examining of lists of witnesses and evidence to be present during the trial.

After examining the lists of witnesses, the court decided to allow 14 prosecution witnesses, down from 17 on the list, to testify.

There will be five examinations of prosecution witnesses, the first being set for January 15, next year. The four other hearings have been scheduled for February 17, February 26, March 4 and March 23.

The defence witnesses will testify in 16 hearings. The first has been scheduled for April 1, next year.

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