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Red Bull case revision decision in 7 days

by qualityeducation
Forensic police fit the motorcycle belonging to Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert of Thong Lor police station to the damage caused to the Ferrari driven by Vorayuth Yoovidhya, the youngest son of Red Bull executive Chalerm Yoovidhya, following the accident in September 2012. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

A panel of public prosecutors will finish their review of the decision not to arraign Red Bull scion Vorayuth Yoovidhya in seven days, and the case has not been closed, according to the Office of the Attorney-General.

OAG spokesman Prayuth Petchkhun said on Tuesday that deputy attorney-general Somsak Tiyawanit was heading the committee tasked with the revision, and he would ensure the panel reached its decision in seven days.

The committee had requested the written decision of the OAG’s Southern Bangkok Criminal Litigation Department that decided against arraignment of Mr Vorayuth on the charge of reckless driving in 2012 causing death.

The committee would decide if the decision was legal and complied with OAG regulations. It would also look into the reasons behind the decision, Mr Prayuth said.

He refused to confirm if the panel would look into the credibility of two new witnesses, who told police the crash was an inevitable accident and Mr Vorayuth had not exceeded the speed limit. He also declined to say if the panel would consider recommending a fresh investigation of the case.

The panel had just started work. It was too soon to answer the questions, Mr Prayuth said.

The case had not been finalised and if there was new evidence or witness, prosecutors could revise their arraignment decision. Besides, damaged parties in the case still had their right to press a charge, he said.

The Southern Bangkok Criminal Litigation Department decided in June to drop the charge that Mr Vorayuth, 35, also known as Boss, drove in a reckless manner that killed Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, 47, on Sept 3, 2012. The Royal Police Office later agreed with the decision.

Mr Vorayuth’s black Ferrari crashed into the rear of the police motorcycle on Sukhumvit Road in the early morning. He then fled the scene to his home nearby.

He delayed hearing charges seven times. It was not until April 27, 2017, that prosecutors finally charged him with reckless driving causing death and failing to help a crash victim.

He fled on a private plane two days before he was due to face the charges.

A speeding charge was later dropped when the one-year statute of limitation expired. A second charge, failing to stop and help a crash victim, expired on Sept 3, 2017.

The third and most serious charge, reckless driving causing death, would have remained on the books until 2027, but has now been dropped.

Mr Vorayuth is the son of Chalerm Yoovidhya, whose family co-owns the energy drink megabrand Red Bull and ranks second on Thailand’s richest list with net worth estimated at US$20 billion (about 617 billion baht).

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