Former Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was on Wednesday sentenced to five years in jail after the Supreme Court found her guilty of negligence in managing a rice subsidy scheme, Reuters reported. Yingluck was not present in the court, and is believed to have fled the country in August.

On August 25, the top court of Thailand had issued an arrest warrant against her after she failed to appear in court for the verdict. Reports suggested she had left for Dubai fearing a harsh sentence.

Yingluck became prime minister in 2011. Her rice subsidy scheme was popular with farmers but the military government, which ousted her from power in 2014, said it caused losses of $8 billion (around Rs 51,040 crore).

The former prime minister had argued that she was only in charge of coming up with the policy and not its day-to-day management.