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Ex-Thai PM sentenced in absentia to 5 years in prison

BANGKOK (AP) – A Thai court has sentenced former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in absentia to five years in prison for alleged negligence in a money-losing rice subsidy program.

Yingluck is believed to have fled the country last month before the court session at which the verdict initially was to have been delivered.

Her government was overthrown in a military coup in 2014, and she has said the charges are politically motivated.

Thai police women stand guard outside the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. The court is expected to deliver verdict on case against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Her brother also led an elected government that was ousted by the military and lives in exile to avoid a jail term on corruption charges.

A supporter of Thai former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra holds a fan outside the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. The court is expected to deliver verdict on case against Yingluck Shinawatra. The fan reads "My favorite prime minister."  (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

A supporter of Thai former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra holds a fan outside the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. The court is expected to deliver verdict on case against Yingluck Shinawatra. The fan reads “My favorite prime minister.” (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

A supporter of Thai former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra wears a mask outside the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. The court is expected to deliver verdict on case against Yingluck Shinawatra. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

A supporter of Thai former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra wears a mask outside the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. The court is expected to deliver verdict on case against Yingluck Shinawatra. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Supporters of Thai former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra display messages on hands reading "Love Pu," which is Yingluck's Thai nickname, outside the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. The court is expected to deliver verdict on case against Yingluck Shinawatra. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Supporters of Thai former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra display messages on hands reading “Love Pu,” which is Yingluck’s Thai nickname, outside the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. The court is expected to deliver verdict on case against Yingluck Shinawatra. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

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