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Yingluck Shinawatra Cleared in High-Stakes Thailand Roadshow Project Case

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Picture this: the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders, on an otherwise ordinary Monday, delivered a verdict that felt like a plot twist straight out of a political thriller. At the heart of the drama? Yingluck Shinawatra, a name that rings synonymous with resilience amid political storms. Alongside her, five other defendants, standing shoulder to shoulder, awaited a decision that could tip the scales of their fate. The accusation? An alleged power abuse linked to the 2020 Thailand roadshow project—a high-stakes venture during Yingluck’s tenure at Thailand’s helm.

Among the cast of characters were Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan, the former deputy Prime Minister with a name as long as his political resume; Suranand Vejjajiva, the erstwhile secretary-general to the Prime Minister, known for his behind-the-scenes prowess; and an ensemble featuring the likes of Matichon Plc and Siam Sport Syndicate Plc, two publications caught in the eye of the storm. Add Rawi Lothong, the managing director of Siam Sport, to the mix, and you have a recipe for an enthralling saga.

As the court’s gavel resounded with the force of judgment, it declared a unanimous ruling that swept the accusations under the rug like dust from an old, forgotten tale. Why, you ask? It turns out, the budgetary backbone of the entire roadshow project had undergone the scrutinizing eyes of numerous governmental watchdogs, not merely bending to Yingluck’s will. This financial trailblazer found its roots aligned with her government’s declarations to Parliament—painting a picture of policy rather than power play.

Travelling back to 2022, the plot thickens with the National Anti-Corruption Commission stepping into the arena, slinging a lawsuit against Yingluck, Niwatthamrong, and Suranand. The charge was as dramatic as they come: committing malfeasance and nonfeasance to craft an unfair advantage for Matichon Plc and Siam Sport in a public relations project. The stakes? A whopping Bt239.7 million thought to have been squandered on the roadshow, handed over to these two publications without the fanfare of a bidding war.

Yet, as the curtains were drawn, the court found the evidence as lacking as a detective novel without its final chapter. No concrete proof surfaced to depict Yingluck and co. dipping their hands into the public coffer with ill intent. The anticipated choice of Matichon Plc and Siam Sport for the roadshow? It appeared more a coincidence than a calculated move. Furthermore, a post-coup committee in 2014, armed with the task of wielding the magnifying glass over this controversy, concluded their investigation with a clean slate—no illegality in sight.

In the backdrop of all this legal tango, Yingluck’s narrative took a somber turn. She embraced self-exile nearly a decade ago, a testament to her tempestuous journey through Thailand’s political landscape. A separate saga saw her sentenced to five years in prison, tied to a rice-pledging case, adding yet another chapter to her storied life.

As the dust settles on this chapter of Thailand’s political anthology, the story of Yingluck Shinawatra and her cohorts presents a riveting study of power, policy, and the perpetual pendulum of justice. In a world where headlines often fade into the next, this ruling awakens a dialogue on governance, accountability, and the fine line that often blurs in the arena of political power. One thing is for certain: as long as tales like these unfold, the pages of political dramas will never lack for content.


  1. TruthSeeker101 March 4, 2024

    Yingluck Shinawatra’s acquittal is just another example of how powerful figures manage to escape justice. The whole system is rigged in favor of the elite. Regular people wouldn’t have stood a chance in a similar scenario.

    • BangkokBorn March 4, 2024

      I disagree. The court found no evidence against Yingluck and the other defendants. It’s important to respect the rule of law and the court’s decision. We can’t just assume someone’s guilty because of their political status.

      • SkepticalCitizen March 4, 2024

        It’s naive to think that the absence of evidence means innocence. High profile cases like these often see evidence disappearing or witnesses becoming reluctant. It’s the sad truth of our justice system.

      • TruthSeeker101 March 4, 2024

        Exactly my point, @SkepticalCitizen. It’s all about who you know and what strings you can pull in these circles.

    • DemocracyDefender March 4, 2024

      This verdict might be seen as a win for Yingluck, but it’s a loss for transparency and accountability in government. There should have been a more thorough investigation.

  2. Joe March 4, 2024

    Honestly, I’m just glad this whole saga is over. It’s been dragging on for too long and has diverted attention from more pressing issues Thailand faces today.

  3. ThaiPatriot March 4, 2024

    Yingluck’s case is a distraction from the real issues plaguing our country. Corruption is rampant, and it’s time we focus on systemic changes rather than individual cases.

    • BangkokBorn March 4, 2024

      I agree that corruption is a major issue, but we can’t ignore cases like these. They set precedents for future legal battles and shape public opinion on governance.

  4. PoliticalJunkie March 4, 2024

    It’s interesting to note how quickly people forget the role of due process. Yingluck’s acquittal, whether you agree with it or not, underwent a rigorous legal process. Calling it ‘escape from justice’ without substantive proof undermines the judiciary’s role.

    • TruthSeeker101 March 4, 2024

      Due process is one thing, but when the system itself is flawed, can we truly trust the outcome? Cases involving political figures always seem to have a different rulebook.

  5. SiamWatcher March 4, 2024

    Let’s not forget Yingluck’s self-exile. That speaks volumes about the political climate in Thailand more than any court verdict could. It’s a sad state when leaders have to flee to avoid persecution.

    • JusticeForAll March 4, 2024

      Exile often seems like an admission of guilt or avoidance of justice. It’s a complex issue, but fleeing the country doesn’t exactly scream innocence, does it?

      • BangkokBorn March 4, 2024

        It’s not always black and white. The political environment in Thailand can be so hostile that self-exile becomes a means of survival, not necessarily an admission of guilt.

  6. TheWatcher March 4, 2024

    The media’s role in this entire saga cannot be understated. Matichon Plc and Siam Sport Syndicate Plc’s involvement brings to light the intricate relationship between politics and media in Thailand.

  7. CuriousCat March 4, 2024

    The role of the National Anti-Corruption Commission should be scrutinized. How did they not find sufficient evidence? Are they really doing their job, or is it just for show?

  8. Historian March 4, 2024

    Historically speaking, political figures globally have faced similar accusations. What sets this case apart is the public’s immediate access to information and the global spotlight on Thailand’s political scene.

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