Seven more years to prosecute 'Boss'

Seven more years to prosecute 'Boss'

Vorayuth: Seen at events abroad
Vorayuth: Seen at events abroad

Thai police have another seven years to prosecute Red Bull scion Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya on a high-profile hit-and-run charge, deputy spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) Prayut Phetkun said yesterday.

Mr Vorayuth, who has been seen at public sport events and elsewhere abroad, is accused of being behind the wheel when his Ferrari hit and killed Pol Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, a motorcycle policeman, on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, on Sept 3, 2012.

"The statute of limitations for this reckless driving causing death case is 15 years from the day of the event ... and will expire on Sept 3, 2027," Mr Prayut said yesterday.

"So police have seven more years to find and prosecute him before the case becomes void."

He said the OAG had already filed its case in court, which has approved an arrest warrant for the suspect, and police would continue searching for him, whether it turns out he is still in Thailand or abroad.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has found five metropolitan police officers, including Pol Lt Col Wiradol Thabthimdee, chief interrogator at Thong Lor police station at that time, guilty of mild dereliction of duty in their lenient handling of the fatal hit-and-run case.

An NACC investigation found there had been an intention to exempt Mr Vorayuth, now aged 35, from prosecution on charges of drug abuse and speeding.

That is despite forensic police concluding he had been driving at 177 kilometres per hour.

Back then, Mr Vorayuth delayed court hearings 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.

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

The most serious charge, reckless driving causing death, is the one that will remain on the books until 2027.

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