Vorayuth warrant still in place

Vorayuth warrant still in place

Police escort Vorayuth Yoovidhya in Bangkok after his hit-and-run on Sept 3, 2012. (Photo: Kosol Nakachol)
Police escort Vorayuth Yoovidhya in Bangkok after his hit-and-run on Sept 3, 2012. (Photo: Kosol Nakachol)

The arrest warrant for Red Bull scion Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya has yet to be revoked as previously requested by the police, Vicha Mahakun, who heads the independent panel examining the 2012 hit-and-run case confirmed on Wednesday.

He was speaking after a second meeting of the panel, set up as ordered by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha amid public outrage over public prosecutors' decision to not indict Mr Vorayuth. The panel had learned from the chief judge of Southern Bangkok Criminal Court that police had requested the warrant be cancelled but the step was opposed by a group led by former Bangkok senator Rosana Tositrakul who petitioned the court against the police's request.

The court had therefore asked the police to withdraw their request, which they eventually did, said Mr Vicha. Especially now that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has announced new evidence in the hit-and-run case and that a fresh probe was likely to be ordered, the warrant should not be revoked, he said.

Mr Vicha said his panel is due to question the OAG's team which is examining the decision by prosecutors to not indict Mr Vorayuth.

Pol Lt Col Thanawut Sanguansuk, deputy chief of Thong Lor police station, meanwhile, said investigators will begin questioning new witnesses as soon as they receive an order by the OAG. He was responding to the OAG's findings on Tuesday about a formal inspection of the speed of Mr Vorayuth's Ferrari when it crashed into the rear of the motorcycle ridden by Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, 47, killing him, on Sept 3, 2012. It also referred to a medical examination on the suspect that found some narcotic substances in his body.

Prayuth Petchkhun, a member of the panel of prosecutors set up to look into the handling of the case, said on Tuesday the new evidence involved statements by two experts about the Ferrari's speed at the time of the fatal crash. Mr Prayuth, who is also a deputy spokesman of the OAG, also told the House committee on law, justice and human rights on Wednesday that one new piece of evidence found by the OAG's panel was a report that Mr Vorayuth's Ferrari was possibly going at 177 km/h.

The report was prepared by Sathon Vijarnwannaluk, a physics lecturer at Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Science. The discovery about narcotic substances in Mr Vorayuth's body also justifies additional charges against the suspect and a new probe into the substances, said Mr Prayuth.

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