Red Bull heir indictment decision postponed, again

Red Bull heir indictment decision postponed, again

OAG deputy spokesman Prayuth Phetkhun explains why a decision in the Vorayudh case needs to be deferred once again, this time until April 27. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)
OAG deputy spokesman Prayuth Phetkhun explains why a decision in the Vorayudh case needs to be deferred once again, this time until April 27. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

The Office of the Attorney-General on Thursday again postponed its decision on whether to indict Vorayudh "Boss" Yoovidhya, a Red Bull heir, in the hit-and-run case in 2012 in which a Thong Lor policeman was killed.

The indictment decision was initially scheduled for today. OAG deputy spokesman Prayuth Phetkhun said it had been further deferred until April 27. 

Outlining steps taken by the OAG, Mr Prayuth said that after the fatal accident on Sept 3, 2012, Seksan Bangsomboon, chief of the prosecution office of the Bangkok South Criminal Court, ordered the indictment of Mr Vorayudh for reckless driving causing death and failing to help a crash victim.

Mr Vorayudh filed several petitions for justice, calling for additional investigation.

In one of the petitions, the suspect's lawyers demanded additional questioning of witnesses about whether he was driving above the legal speed limit. Prosecutors insisted on ordering the indictment and made an appointment for Mr Vorayudh to show up on April 25, 2016.  Mr Vorayudh assigned a lawyer to appear and seek a postponement because he was abroad.

The prosecutors postponed the indictment to May 25, 2016, but the suspect again failed to show up.

On May 30, 2016, prosecutors sent a letter to Thong Lor police, asking them to find Mr Vorayudh.

Police later informed the prosecutors that Mr Vorayudh had sought postponement of the indictment because he had lodged a petition with the National Legislative Assembly's committee on legal and justice process and police affairs.

The prosecutors again insisted there would be no change, and made an appointment for Mr Vorayudh to report for indictment on June 24, 2016.

Mr Vorayudh again sought postponement, reasoning that his petition was still being considered by the NLA committee.  The prosecutors again asked Thong Lor police to find Mr Vorayudh and bring him in for indictment by Oct 28, 2016.  Again, Mr Vorayudh did not show up and again his lawyers sought a postponement.

Another appointment for indictment was scheduled for Nov 30, 2016, but the suspect again asked for deferment, saying that he was busy in the United Arab Emirates.  The indictment decision was then postponed to Dec 28, 2016.

On Dec 23, 2016, the NLA committee sent a letter to the prosecution office of the South Bangkok Criminal Court, saying that it had set up a committee to investigate Mr Vorayudh's petition for justice.

The NLA committee had finished its investigation and sent a report to the prosecutors, Mr Prayuth said.

After receiving the investigation report, prosecutors scheduled March 30 for a decision on the indictment, but Mr Vorayudh again asked for a postponement today, saying he was busy in England.  Prosecutors had, therefore, postponed it to April 27.

Mr Prayuth said the prosecution had followed every legal step in its handling of the case. Although people might question why the indictment had been delayed for five years the petitions from the suspect could not be ignored, otherwise the prosecutors could be deemed in neglect of their duty.

He insisted the prosecutors had complied with  OAG regulations, with no intention of dragging out the case.


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