Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in front of the Supreme Court on August 1 (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra declared her innocence on August 1 at the Supreme Court over allegations of mishandling a multibillion dollar rice subsidy scheme.

The former PM said the rice subsidy scheme benefitted Thai farmers and it did not violate the country’s law.

More than 1,000 of her supporters gathered at the court and Thai police deployed over 300 officers to maintain order and security for the trial.

Under Thailand’s new law, Yingluck is permitted to lodge an appeal without submitting new evidence. The Supreme Court is scheduled to return a verdict on August 25.

[Former Thai PM faces new legal troubles]

In a related move, Thailand’s authorised agencies have frozen all assets belonging to the former PM.

The rice scheme was a flagship policy of Yingluck’s election campaign with the Pheu Thai party, which helped her win the 2011 general election. The scheme offered to buy rice from farmers at a double of market price then keep in store houses nationwide.-VNA