Thai PM defends rice subsidy program in legal case

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Associated Press

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 7:01 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 31 at 7:03 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's prime minister has defended herself against charges of dereliction of duty in overseeing a contentious rice subsidy program.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra met with the National Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday to submit her defense in the case, which could lead to a suspension of her duties and eventual impeachment. The 200-page defense was not released.

Yingluck's supporters believe her opponents are trying to oust her from office through an unfair use of the legal system. Street demonstrations since late last year have sought to have her replaced by an appointed government that would institute anti-corruption reforms.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission accused Yingluck of allowing the rice program to proceed despite advice from experts that it was potentially wasteful and prone to corruption.

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