Red Bull heir case sparks legal conflict
- Published: 5/04/2013 at 09:02 AM
- Online news:
The public prosecutor and the police are at loggerheads in the case against Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya.
Suspect Vorayuth Yoovidhya, the youngest son of Red Bull executive Chalerm Yoovidhya, is brought to the Police General Hospital to undergo a blood test on Sept 4, 2012. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Police have suggested dropping the charges of drink-driving and exceeding the speed limit against Mr Vorayuth.
Ruecha Krairiksh, the prosecutor, said on Thursday he has postponed for another 30 days his final decision on whether to indict Mr Vorayuth because of the disagreement with the police.
Mr Vorayuth, 27, was initially charged with hit-and-run and drink-driving after his Ferrari collided with Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert's motorcycle in the early hours of Sept 3, 2012 on Sukhumvit Road.
Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian was killed and his body dragged about 200 metres along the road in the accident.
Suwes Hom-uban, the Yoovidhya family driver, initially tried to take the blame for the accident but was later charged with giving a false statement to police.
Police now recommend Mr Vorayuth only be charged with careless driving causing death and hit-and-run.
The grandson of Red Bull founder Chaleo Yoovidhya could face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty of drink-driving causing death.
A guilty verdict for careless driving causing death, on the other hand, would carry a maximum sentence of only two years.
Police investigators, however, claim that while Mr Vorayuth's blood alcohol level was found to exceed the legal limit, it was unclear whether he drank before or after the accident _ even though the test was conducted in the afternoon of the same day the incident took place.
As for dropping the speeding charges, Mr Ruecha said police have cited the opinions of only two experts that Mr Vorayuth did not exceed the speed limit. He said the police need to submit more evidence to support the claim that the Red Bull scion was not speeding.
Forensic police inspect Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert’s motorcycle and a Ferrari driven by Vorayuth Yoovidhya, following the accident. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
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