House grills Nate over 'Boss' move
Deputy Attorney-General Nate Naksuk was grilled on Thursday during a joint sitting of two House committees that demanded to know why he did not indict Red Bull scion Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya.
Mr Nate told panel members questioning his judgement that his decision was above-board and said he welcomed any probe into his financial affairs. It was his first public appearance since sparking uproar by dropping the causing death by reckless driving charge against Mr Vorayuth. He also confirmed on Thursday he had tendered his resignation to protect the reputation of the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG), the agency he has served for 40 years.
The charge was dropped due to statements from specialists and witnesses who claimed Mr Vorayuth's Ferrari was travelling within the speed limit and that the policeman who was killed had cut in front of his vehicle. The meeting was held jointly by the House committee on laws, justice and human rights chaired by Palang Pracharath Party MP Sira Jenjaka and the House committee on public independent organisations chaired by Jirayu Huangsap, a Pheu Thai Party MP. Mr Nate said his decision was based on evidence in the police report and insisted all witnesses who testified about the car's speed were legitimate.
According to Mr Nate, in the report, Pol Col Thanasit Taengchan, from the Office of Police Forensic Science, who examined the scene of the accident in 2012, changed his statement and revised the Ferrari's speed from 177kph to 79 kph. Mr Nate said prosecutors were following due process when they agreed to consider Mr Vorayuth's petitions for fair treatment. The OAG was criticised for allowing Mr Vorayuth to exploit a technicality to drag out the probe by submitting a petition seeking fair treatment more than six times.
Asked about the role of a panel under the now-defunct National Legislative Assembly in the case, Mr Nate said the panel became involved after Mr Vorayuth petitioned for fairness. The panel was accused of pressuring the police and the OAG to re-investigate the case leading to the dropping of the charge.
Meanwhile, at least 14 police were found sloppy in their handling of the probe into the hit-and-run case, according to a police panel. Pol Lt Gen Jaruwat Waisaya, deputy chairman of the panel, said the inquiry found the handling by 14 police involved in the case was flawed. For example they failed to take the suspect's urine sample for a drug test and did not issue an arrest warrant as recommended by prosecutors. He said the national police chief would be asked to consider probes against them.