[JURIST] Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra [BBC profile] filed a criminal case against Attorney General Trakul Winitnaiyaphak [official website] and other prosecutors on Tuesday, accusing them of abuse of power and causing damage to others in the handling of her case. In February 2014, Shinawatra was charged [JURIST report] with neglect of duty relating to management of the country’s multi-billion dollar rice-subsidy program. She argues that the prosecutors did not adequately investigate [Bangkok Post report] facts in her case in accordance with the Criminal Procedures Code, and illegally submitted 60,000 pages of evidence that were not used in the investigation. Supporters of Shinawatra say the courts are biased [Reuters report] and issued unfair rulings in her case, but the prosecutors deny this and added that they believe her rice-subsidy program was a scheme to gain votes.
Thailand’s political system has been unstable since the 2006 military coup [BBC report] by the Royal Thai Army against then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile], brother of Yingluck. After the military overthrew the government last year, the junta has been accused of violating human rights in its attempts to maintain order. Martial law was instituted on May 20, 2014, two days before the coup that ousted the former Thai government and installed General Prayuth Chan-ocha [BBC profile] as the country’s new prime minister. Since then, political demonstrations have been banned, and hundreds have been arrested for protesting the junta. A group of Thai human rights activists denounced the country’s state of martial law in February, accusing the ruling military junta of imposing a judicial “twilight zone” [JURIST report]. The current prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced in April that the country’s military government would lift the martial law [JURIST report] and replace it with a new security order. Also in April, Thailand completed [JURIST report] an initial draft of a new constitution, which, if ratified, would be the country’s twentieth since 1932.