Deputy AG who dropped 'Boss' charge a no-show at hearing

Deputy AG who dropped 'Boss' charge a no-show at hearing

Vorayuth Yoovidhya is with police after his hit-and-run crash in Bangkok on Sept 3, 2012. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Vorayuth Yoovidhya is with police after his hit-and-run crash in Bangkok on Sept 3, 2012. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Deputy Attorney-General Nate Naksuk, who approved the dropping of the reckless driving charge against Red Bull scion Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya, was a no-show on Sunday at a hearing of a sub-panel examining the prosecutor's handling of the case.

The sub-panel -- which is headed by Borwornsak Uwanno, former chairman of a constitution drafting body, and under the independent inquiry committee set up by the prime minister to look into the case -- summonsed Mr Nate to give statements, but he failed to show up.

To date, there have been three committees formed to look into the dropping of the reckless driving charge against Mr Vorayuth, after the decision sparked a public outcry.

One was set up by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the other two were launched by the Office of Attorney-General (OAG) and the Royal Thai Police Office (RTPO) to look into their roles in the case.

Only deputy spokesman of the OAG Prayuth Phetkhun and a group of prosecutors involved in the case attended Sunday's hearing, which lasted about five hours. Mr Prayuth appeared before the Borwornsak panel in his capacity as a member of the prosecutors' panel looking into the case.

Mr Borwornsak said on Sunday the panel would make sure Mr Nate shows up to clarify the issue. "He will have to appear before the panel eventually," he said.

However, he said the panel received useful information from the attendees, which included Somjai Tosukolwan and Nipaporn Rujanawong.

Mr Somjai served as deputy chief of the Department of Southern Bangkok Litigation when the case was handed to the prosecution, while Ms Nipaporn recommended that consideration of Mr Vorayuth's petition calling for fair treatment should be dropped.

While declining to discuss Mr Nate's judgement, Mr Borwornsak said the hit-and-run case exposed what were deemed as weaknesses in the OAG's justice administration process.

He said the petition for fair treatment was abused to stall the case when it was originally intended to ensure a fair investigation.

According to him, Mr Vorayuth petitioned more than 10 times for fair treatment, before saying the panel is gathering information about where and how those petitions were submitted.

He said the independent committee, which is headed by Vicha Mahakhun, is scheduled to meet tomorrow and has asked national police chief and former AG Pongniwat Yuthapanboriparn to testify.

Pol Gen Satawat Hiranburana, who heads a police committee assigned to investigate the police decisiont to drop the charge, meanwhile, said his panel will meet today. He said Pol Lt Gen Permpoon Chidchob, an assistant police chief who did not oppose the prosecutors' decision, is supposed to clarify his decision today.

Athapol Yaisawang, head of the Department of the Public Prosecutor Commission, said on Sunday the Public Prosecutor Commission will decide on Aug 18 whether or not to probe Mr Nate's decision.

He stressed the Public Prosecutor Commission will have a final say on the matter.

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