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Thailand's attorney general presses criminal charges against ex-PM over rice subsidy scheme

  • In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 photo,  Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrives at parliament in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's attorney general on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015,  pressed criminal charges against former Prime Minister Yingluck for negligence related to her government's money-losing rice subsidy scheme, a move likely to prolong conflicts in a divided nation plagued by political turmoil and coups.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

    In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 photo, Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrives at parliament in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's attorney general on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, pressed criminal charges against former Prime Minister Yingluck for negligence related to her government's money-losing rice subsidy scheme, a move likely to prolong conflicts in a divided nation plagued by political turmoil and coups.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 photo,  Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra answers a question at parliament in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's attorney general on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015,  pressed criminal charges against former Prime Minister Yingluck for negligence related to her government's money-losing rice subsidy scheme, a move likely to prolong conflicts in a divided nation plagued by political turmoil and coups.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

    In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 photo, Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra answers a question at parliament in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's attorney general on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, pressed criminal charges against former Prime Minister Yingluck for negligence related to her government's money-losing rice subsidy scheme, a move likely to prolong conflicts in a divided nation plagued by political turmoil and coups.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)  (The Associated Press)

Thailand's attorney general has pressed criminal charges against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for negligence related to her government's money-losing rice subsidy scheme.

The prosecutors' office on Thursday submitted 20 boxes of the case's documents to the Supreme Court's criminal division for politicians.

They accused Yingluck of dereliction in overseeing a rice subsidy scheme that lost billions of dollars and temporarily cost Thailand its crown as the world's top rice exporter.

The move is widely seen as an attempt to cripple the political machine of Yingluck's brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in the 2006 coup, and to prevent his allies from returning to power.

It came one month after Yingluck was impeached on similar grounds by the military-appointed legislature and banned from politics for five years.