11 July 2024

The Serbian government has granted Serbian citizenship to fugitive former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, according to a Reuters report on Thursday.

Quoting local media in Serbia, Reuters said that the Serbian government decided to grant Serbian citizenship to Ms. Yingluck, citing the provision in the law which entitles foreigners to be granted Serbian citizenship if they are deemed beneficial to Serbia.

The government’s decision was announced without any further details being provided, said Reuters, adding that a Thai diplomat in Serbia refused to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, the BBC reported that fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Ms. Yingluck’s elder brother, confirmed the Reuters report.

“We are familiar with one another. It is the kind of relationship where they (the Serbian government) have read our profiles, know a lot about us and about Thailand. They know what we have done for the people and they want us to consider where we can be useful (to them),” the BBC quoted Thaksin as saying.

Ms. Yingluck fled Thailand ahead of the verdict of the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices on a case related to the scandal plagued rice pledging scheme of her government.  She was sentenced to five years imprisonment in absentia after she was found guilty of negligence for failing to stop or prevent massive corruption in the scheme and the resulting losses to the country.