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Yingluck sentencing: The downfall of Thailand's Shinawatra family

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Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra talks to a reporter on Jan. 3

"There was corruption in every step if the rice pledging program", the court verdict said, adding that it cost the country almost $10 billion.

Nevertheless, it marks an unusual case in Thailand for a former prime minister to be found guilty for policies implemented during their tenure.

Proponents of the military government defended the ruling against critics who said it was politically motivated.

Reaction to the five-year sentence was subdued, however, with local news reports saying less than 100 supporters gathered in front of the court for the verdict, many fewer than the thousands who converged on 25 August when Yingluck was originally to be sentenced.

- Sentences her to five years in jail.

Yingluck's administration took the idea much further. Authorities say that this caused the country 8 billion dollars in financial losses.

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The Supreme Court said Yingluck Shinawatra was knowing of the falsified rice deals but did nothing to stop it.

Yingluck's Puea Thai Party defended the scheme on Wednesday.

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.

On the eve of the verdict junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha declared his "spies" had informed him of Yingluck's whereabouts, but said he would not reveal her location until after the judgement was delivered.

The generals have promised an eventual return to democracy but the date for elections keeps slipping, as they extend their clampdown on dissent.

Thaksin was toppled from power by a 2006 military coup after being accused of abuse of power, corruption and disrespect for the country's monarchy.

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