Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra attended a court hearing on August 5 over a rice subsidy scheme during her administration, which allegedly incurred losses of billions of USD.

Yingluck appeared before the Supreme Court in the first defendant hearing, during which prosecutors made inquiries into the controversial rice program implemented by her Puea Thai Party-led government several years ago.

Hundreds of her supporters gathered to cheer her, under the close watch of policemen outside the court.

A working group of the Prime Minister's Office under current Thai leader Prayut Chan-o-cha has held Yingluck, as head of the previous government, responsible for 8.2 billion USD in losses for the allegedly corrupt, loss-ridden rice programme in an earlier hearing at the Supreme Court.

The rice scheme, a flagship election policy that helped sweep Yingluck to office in a landslide in 2011, was a catalyst for months of crippling street protests in 2014 that led to the military takeover.

In January 2015, the National Legislative Assembly charged Yingluck of negligence over her management of the rice program and banned her from politics for five years.-VNA