Activist urges Boss drugs probe

Activist urges Boss drugs probe

Prosecutors 'worked in his favour': Srisuwan

Social activist Srisuwan Janya has urged the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to initiate a probe into alleged dereliction of duty against police who did not press a drug use charges against Red Bull scion Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhaya in the 2012 hit-and-run case.

Mr Srisuwan said many dentists had come out to affirm that cocaine was no longer used to treat patients. The substance was last used as anaesthetic 100-150 years ago and dental anaesthetics used by dentists nowadays such as lidocaine, mepivacaine and articaine do not metabolise into substances that might be detected as cocaine, the activist said. Mr Vorayuth's lawyer said cocaine found in his system after the 2012 accident was used in dental treatment.

This case was a "wake-up call" for society to reform police and prosecutor organisations, Mr Srisuwan said. As secretary-general of the Thai Constitutional Defence Association, he will submit a petition with the NACC tomorrow to call for action against police and prosecutors who worked in favour of Mr Vorayuth.

Meanwhile Natthavasah Chatpaitoon, from the executive director's office of the Thailand Criminal Law Institute, said yesterday the police investigation did not draw on test results which showed Mr Vorayuth had illicit substances in his blood, so they did not press charges of drug use.

The prosecutor said the two new witnesses in the case could face criminal charges if they lied to interrogators about the speed that Mr Vorayuth was travelling during the accident.

The witnesses told police that Mr Vorayuth was travelling at less than 80kph, much slower than the 177kph calculated by experts soon after the accident. Their testimony is believed to be the main reason why prosecutors dropped all charges against Mr Vorayuth.

Jaruchart Maadthong, one of the witnesses, was killed in a motorcycle accident last Thursday in Chiang Mai province. However, his death has caused the public to question if it is related to the hit-and-run case.

Chairman of a police panel on Mr Vorayuth's case, Pol Gen Satawat Hirunburana, said the panel would summon many people to give information, especially those involved in the detection of cocaine in Mr Vorayuth' blood.

If there was sufficient evidence, police would be able to charge Mr Vorayuth for using drugs, Pol Gen Satawat said.

Asked why police did not charge him when they first learned he had substances in his blood, Pol Gen Satawat said charges were filed at the discretion of investigators. The panel would consider if the decision not to charge him was correct, he said. Users of category 2 substances (cocaine) is subject to a term in jail of six months to three years, a fine ranging from 10,000–60,000 baht, or both. The statute of limitations on drug charges is 10 years.

Chairman of another panel initiated by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Vicha Mahakhun, said the panel would meet tomorrow and would later invite all people concerned to give information about the prosecutors' decision to acquit Mr Vorayuth.

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